Local Professor Speaks Out About Tuesday's Elections

HARRISON COUNTY (WLOX) -- John McCain has won enough delegates to claim the republican presidential nomination, but there's a long way to go on the democratic side.

Both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are coming to Mississippi ahead of Tuesday's primary elections, and one local political expert says Mississippi will make a difference this year.

"We thought that we might have no influence. With things as tight as they are on the democratic side, everybody's vote will actually count," political analyst Pat Smith told WLOX News.

Typically by the time Mississippi votes, the winners have already been decided. But this time around things will be different.

"You got 40 delegates from Mississippi to the Democratic National Convention. Twenty-seven of those delegates will be selected, or at least the voting power of 27 of those delegates will be determined by the outcome of the election on Tuesday," Smith said.

Smith also says there are hundreds of SUPER delegates like Congressman Gene Taylor who still remain uncommitted. Three others Mississippi super delegates have already endorsed Senator Obama. Right now Clinton trails Obama in the number of delegates but that may soon change.

"We have an opportunity in Mississippi to participate because of the delegations being allocated based on the percentage of the votes so this is not a winner take all. Every congressional district will probably have at least one delegate for each of the candidate," said Smith.

Saturday, people in Wyoming will head to the polls. That's just one of several primaries scheduled over the next few months. Pennsylvania's April election is expected to decide who will win the nomination. However, Smith isn't so sure things will turn out as expected.

"Nothing is normal about this election cycle."

National polls predict that Obama will win the Mississippi Democratic election, primarily because about 30 percent of democratic voters are black. He's also expected to do well with the white vote.

Barack Obama will visit the state some time before the primary, however, an official date has not been set.

As for Senator Hillary Clinton, she will speak Thursday at a Democratic Party dinner in Canton.

Former President Bill Clinton will take part in events in Hattiesburg, Meridian, and Tupelo on Friday.