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« Big Trouble For Daniels | Blog Home Page | Carson Out In Indiana »

Long Day In Mississippi

Washington Post's Cillizza has been following the Mississippi Senate developments all day. His findings:

-- Gov. Haley Barbour says he will set the special election to fill Trent Lott's seat for November 4, coinciding with next year's General election. That's good news for Republicans -- not only will the appointed Senator have longer to establish him or herself, he or she will also be able to tag their opponent with the Democratic presidential nominee. In Mississippi, that's a huge plus for the GOP. It also means, if Politics Nation understands Mississippi election law, that Lott will not offer his resignation before January 1st.

-- Retiring Rep. Chip Pickering is unlikely to be Barbour's appointee, according to Cillizza's sources. Pickering has made little secret of his hope to end up in the Senate some day, but his shot may come in six years when Thad Cochran, who is running for re-election this year, is up again. Cochran was a retirement threat earlier this year, and six years from now he would be even more likely to hang it up.

-- With Pickering seemingly out of the running, Rep. Roger Wicker seems like the front-runner for the seat. Wicker has about $570,000 cash on hand, giving him a big head start over any potential challenger.

-- On the Democratic side, while early speculation centered on another pass from former Attorney General Mike Moore, a candidate Democrats have pined for over the years but failed to woo. But, Cillizza finds, Moore is actually interested in the race. He would still be an underdog, but he would give Democrats their best shot at stealing the seat. Former Gov. Ronny Musgrove remains Democrats' back-up plan.