Last night’s primary elections in Mississippi have solidified the race for the state’s gubernatorial election in 2023. Democrat Brandon Presley will face off against Republican Tate Reeves in what is expected to be a competitive race. Democrats are hoping to turn a traditionally red state blue, although it’s a tall order considering Mississippi hasn’t had a Democratic governor in over a century. However, Presley has strong issues to run on, including the state’s healthcare and hospital crisis, which could give him a chance to make inroads in the race. Governor Reeves is a Republican incumbent, but his popularity is underwater according to recent polls. While Mississippi remains a deeply conservative state, Presley’s retail politicking skills and ability to connect with a variety of groups may give him a shot at winning. Democratic hopes for victory in red states like Kentucky and Louisiana have fallen short in recent years, making a gubernatorial win in Mississippi a significant achievement for the party. However, the Democrats will need more than just a strong candidate – they must find a balance that energizes both the African American community and college-educated Republicans to have a chance at success. National Democratic support and fundraising will play a crucial role in helping Presley’s campaign, similar to the support given to Jim Hood in 2019. While Governor Reeves has weathered some controversies, his popularity has remained largely intact so far. It remains to be seen how the race will unfold, but Presley’s retail politicking skills and his focus on key issues may give him a fighting chance in an uphill battle.