Mississippi has no major elections in 2004 other than House races.
Republican Clinton B. LeSueur will have a rematch with Rep. Bennie Thompson in November for the congressman's 2nd District seat. State Rep. Mike Lott will face Democratic incumbent Gene Taylor in south Mississippi's 4th District.
As for presidential politics, Democrats know they have a tough fight to win the state's six electoral votes. It's been 28 years since Mississippi gave its electoral votes to a Democrat in a presidential election. The year was 1976 and the candidate was Jimmy Carter, a fellow Southerner.
In 2000, Mississippi firmly backed Republican George W. Bush over Democrat Al Gore.
In the 2003 elections, former Republican National Committee chairman Haley Barbour defeated incumbent Democrat Ronnie Musgrove, becoming the state's second Republican governor since Reconstruction.
The wealthy Washington lobbyist beat Musgrove, who was seeking a second term, with about 53 percent of the vote.
The race was the most expensive in Mississippi political history; Barbour raised $10.6 million and Musgrove raised $8.5 million.
Nearly 100,000 more votes were cast in the election than in the governor's race four years ago, the most ever in a race for the state's top elected post. The previous record was set in 1995.
As RNC chairman from 1993-1997, Barbour helped engineer the GOP takeover of the U.S. House and Senate in 1994. President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani stumped for Barbour while Musgrove tried in vain to turn his opponent's experience as a Beltway insider against him. Barbour is chairman and CEO of Barbour Griffith &amp;amp; Rogers, a top-ranked Washington lobbying firm.
During his campaign, Barbour blamed Musgrove for Mississippi's economic woes, while the incumbent took credit for bringing a Nissan plant and its promise of more than 5,000 jobs to the state.
Musgrove had become governor in the closest race in Mississippi history in 1993. Because neither he nor former U.S. Rep. Mike Parker won a majority of the popular vote or a majority of state House districts, the race has decided by state House members in January 2000.
Also in the 2003 elections, Lt. Gov. Amy Tuck defeated Democratic state Sen. Barbara Blackmon, who had sought to become the first black official elected statewide since Reconstruction. Blackmon, who defeated two opponents in the Democratic primary, was the state's first black major party nominee for the office.
In the 2002 elections, Republican Senator Thad Cochran cruised to a fifth term, beating his lone opponent, independent Shawn O'Hara.
GOP Rep. Chip Pickering defeated Democratic Rep. Ronnie Shows in a race forced by redistricting.