Sabato's Crystal Ball

Mississippi (01) House 2010

 

Crystal Ball Outlook: Leans R

Democratic candidate: Travis Childers, Incumbent

Republican candidate: Alan Nunnelee, State Senator

Recent Updates from the Crystal Ball

Background:

 For Democratic candidates Travis Childers and Republican candidate Greg Davis, 2008 may have been the longest and most stressful year in their lives. In a southern district well-known as a center for aerospace research, including unmanned air vehicles, these two individuals engaged in head-to-head combat that lasted all year.

The battle began in early January after Republican district representative Roger Wicker was appointed to the United States Senate in December after Trent Lott retired. A special election was called to fill the empty House seat. Childers, the owner of several retirement homes, quickly entered the special race calling himself a “Mississippi Democrat,” a Democrat that apparently sides with Republicans on most social issues. Davis’ entry into the race was much more gradual but his campaign brought as much jet-power as Childers’. Unfortunately because of exceptionally low voter turn-out, the special election went into a run-off as neither candidate was able to land with more that 50 percent of the vote. As both national parties propelled unprecedented financial support to the first district of Mississippi, the notorious election soared into the media spotlight. In a district that voted 62 percent in favor of President Bush in the 2004 Presidential election and that has been controlled by the Republican Party since 1995, Childers, the Democrat from Prentiss County, tore through the looming Republican clouds and emerged victorious.

Unfortunately for him, the honeymoon was short lived as he would face Davis once the following November. Nevertheless, during his short term, Childers had spotted on his radar where his largely Republican constituents sat on many key national issues including gun rights and President Obama’s $700 billion bailout, and he fought hard against both. Although Republican Presidential candidate John McCain successfully maneuvered into a position to gain 62 percent of the vote in the Presidential race, Republican candidate Greg Davis fell 11 points below Childers after the votes were counted.  Up to this point, no individual has publicly announced that they will challenge Childers for his seat next November. Will Greg Davis, after being defeated twice, enter his name in what could become a turn around victory in a year that Democratic candidates cannot ride President Obama’s coattails?