Sen. Hillary Clinton’s campaign made its pitch to Mississippians heading to the polls Tuesday in attempt to edge into Sen. Barack Obama’s popularity in the state.
The Illinois senator, who won Wyoming’s Democratic caucuses Saturday, heads into Tuesday’s contest polling at 58 percent support to her 34 percent in Mississippi, according to a recent American Research Group survey.
Obama, who fared well in February contests in neighboring Louisiana and Alabama, made campaign appearances Monday in Columbus and Jackson. Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius campaigned on his behalf along the Mississippi Gulf Coast, which is still healing from the impact of Hurricane Katrina.
Obama also had help from hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons and Mississippi Gov. Ray Mabus, who spoke out in the state’s Delta in a bid to help him secure the votes needed to win more of the state’s 33 delegates, USA Today reported.
Amid Obama’s lead in polls, Clinton took to the campaign trail in the state, making appearances Friday in Hattiesburg, while former President Bill Clinton and daughter Chelsea Clinton also spoke to audiences across the state over the weekend.
More than 1,200 people came to hear Clinton’s speech in Hattiesburg and even more came to an event for Bill Clinton. Many Mississippi Democrats are enjoying the rare attention their state is getting.
“I’m just so glad (Clinton) decided to come here because we’re the red-headed stepchild,” said Ginny Hendrix, according to USA Today. “We’re always seen as No. 1 in everything that’s bad and No. 50 in everything that’s good, and I just don’t understand that. This is such a great state to live in.”
The New York senator touted her experience in the White House, in the senate and as Arkansas’ first lady. She also told audiences that she is the candidate for the middle class and released an ad in the state pushing that message.
Still, Clinton is focusing more of her energy on winning Pennsylvania’s more of 158 delegates on April 22. On Monday, the candidate was campaigning there in Scranton.
While Mississippi voters might be enjoying some attention from the presidential campaigns, there are other important decisions to be made on Tuesday’s ballots.
Eight Republicans and two Democrats are seeking to replace U.S. Rep Chip Pickering, a Republican, who is not seeking re-election, while Erik Fleming and Shawn O’Hara compete for the Democratic nomination to face Republican Thad Cochran for his U.S. Senate seat, the Hattiesburg American reported.