A Republican Nightmare Is Unfolding in Mississippi

Republicans' decades-long hold on the Mississippi governor's mansion could be in peril. GOP Governor Tate Reeves has just a 4-point lead over Democratic challenger and

four-time Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley in a hypothetical head-to-head matchup later this year, according to a Siena College/Mississippi Today poll released

Thursday. That's a sign that Mississippi, a long-standing conservative stronghold, could be in play for Democrats after years of political failure in the state. With a

4.6-point margin of error, the poll projects Presley's worst-case scenario against Reeves from a roughly 9-point deficit all the way up to a statistical tie. The survey makes the

case that Presley—who's related to rock 'n' roll icon Elvis—could flip control of the governor's office this year. "It's clear, the people of Mississippi are ready to fire

Tate Reeves," Presley tweeted after the poll was released. Even if Presley loses, a narrow defeat to Reeves would be a stunning development in a state that still trends

deeply conservative. No Democratic presidential candidate has won in Mississippi since Jimmy Carter's 2-point victory there in 1976. And the Democrats that have won the

governor's race in Mississippi—there have been several—have been a different breed compared with those at the national level.