USM Political Science Professors weigh in on candidates

By Sheri Falk - bio | email | Twitter

Hattiesburg, MS (WDAM) - The political suspense is just about over, last minute voters are heading to the polls all over the country to cast their votes.

The big question? Will South Mississippian's help ensure a Republican take over in Congress? We spoke with two Political Science Professor's at USM to get their take on the peoples choice.

The race for Mississippi's 4th Congressional seat has been a hot one this election year, Democratic incumbent Gene Taylor is in his 21st year but many feel Republican challenger Steven Palazzo could be the one who makes sure it's his last.

"Taylor's in a lot closer race than he thought he was going to be in", said USM Political Science Chair Allan McBride, "which is surprising."

"Voters know Gene Taylor, and there is this relative unknown coming out of nowhere and doing well against a guy who's been around for a long time."

McBride said, there is a third element taking part in this years election, the tea party movement. Whether they have influenced voters remains to be seen.

If you ask USM Assistant Professor Marija Bekafigo, the end result will most likely be based on whether voters are in a better position than they were two years ago.

"Gene Taylor, although he has that D behind his name, he is also a fiscal conservative. He didn't vote for the stimulus package, he didn't vote for the health care plan.  I think this race is really interesting because, while Palazzo is a Republican I think a lot of people are really unsure about what Palazzo represents."

If Palazzo's "R" pulls out a "W" then that uncertainty will be seen on capitol hill, as the Republican's rally to block a democratic agenda.

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