Trent Lott may not run for reelection, and according to righty columnist Robert Novak, Mississippi Republicans fear the seat might go Democratic.
Trent Lott within the next week plans to decide between seeking a fourth term in the U.S. Senate from Mississippi or retiring from public life.
That could determine whether Republicans keep control of the Senate in next year’s elections. For the longer range, Lott’s retirement and replacement could signal that Southern political realignment has peaked and now is receding.
Mississippi, one of the reddest of the red Republican states, has not even been on the game board of the Washington analysis forecasting the 2006 Senate outcome. But in Mississippi, prominent Republicans are worried sick. They believe Lott will probably retire. If so, they expect the new senator will be a Democrat, former State Attorney General Mike Moore. Republican politicians in Mississippi believe Rep. Chip Pickering, the likely Republican nominee if Lott does not run, cannot defeat Moore.
2006 is shaping up to be an awfully tough year for the GOP. If they’re worried about defending their turf in the Deep South, it’s hard to imagine them mounting a tough challenge out here in the Pacific Northwest.