Reeves carried 74 of the state’s 82 counties, while former Supreme Court Justice Bill Waller won six and State Rep. Robert Foster won two counties. But, as we know, not all counties are the same and Reeves was held to 49 percent, just under the threshold needed to avoid a runoff.
Republican primaries were once limited to about a dozen counties, but that has certainly expanded. And to Reeves’ benefit. There were 27 counties that provided more than 5,000 votes.
Waller maximized his support in his home territory around Jackson. He carried Hinds county with almost 59 percent of the vote, while picking up about 62 percent of the vote in Madison county. Waller even led the pack in Rankin county, Reeves’ home county, with 45 percent.
These three counties provided about 64,000 votes, or about 17 percent of the total votes cast on Tuesday. Rankin county provided more votes than any other county in the state. Madison was fourth and Hinds sixth.
The county that provided the second highest number of votes? Desoto, carried by Foster who is from Hernando.
Desoto leaves us with more unknowns because of Foster’s strength. But Foster aside, yesterday Reeves received more than triple the number of voters as Waller in the county.
Despite the Jackson metro area and Desoto county, Reeves led – sometimes with large numbers – everywhere else in the state. For example, the lower six counties of the state (Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, George, Pearl River, and Stone counties) provided essentially the same number of voters as the metro area. Reeves won each, winning between 56 and 65 percent of the vote.
Overall, Reeves won 22 of the 27 counties with more than 5,000 Republican voters.
The Reeves and Waller runoff will certainly generate most of the headlines over the next three weeks, but it’s not the only statewide runoff. Treasurer Lynn Fitch, who opted to run for Attorney General, led a three-person race winning 44 percent of the vote. She will face attorney Andy Taggart in the runoff for the last office in the state Republicans have yet to capture.