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Mississippi - 2nd District

Incumbent -- Bennie Thompson (D) ; Running for re-election

Safe Democratic
Race Ratings Key
 

CQ Politics rates this race as "Safe," meaning the incumbent party is virtually certain to win the seat.

 

District Information

District Profile from Politics in America

Lying mostly west of Interstate 55 and north of Interstate 20, the 2nd combines most of Jackson -- the state's capital and largest city -- with Vicksburg and the nutrient-rich flatlands of the Mississippi Delta. North of Vicksburg, the road drops 15 feet in Issaquena County, marking the beginning of the Delta. In the last decade, the district has lost more than 40,000 residents, ranking among the fastest-contracting districts in the nation ahead of decennial remapping.

Agriculture is important both to the state and the district, and the 2nd supports catfish-raising and other aquaculture, cotton, rice, and soybeans. The Delta's agricultural economy has promoted landowner/tenant relationships that have made the 2nd one of the nation's poorest districts, with a median household income of slightly more than $30,000.

In Vicksburg, a mixture of tourism, casinos and a Mississippi River port have brought some local prosperity, as has a new ethanol plant that produces more than 50 million gallons annually, making it one of the largest plants in the South. Outside Canton, a Nissan assembly plant north of Jackson employs thousands of workers, and the company recently expanded the facility despite vulnerability in the auto industry.

Government, service and small-scale manufacturing jobs have long kept unemployment in check in Jackson, although nationwide economic downturns have hurt the capital. The city is working to revitalize its downtown area and opened a new convention center in 2009. Jackson also hosts the State Fair and annual rodeo.

Although some low-income white residents live in the 2nd, it is the only black-majority district in a state with the second-highest percentage of black residents of any district in the nation. Despite a Republican foothold in some areas near Jackson and to the northeast, the 2nd was the only Mississippi district to favor Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election, giving him 66 percent of its vote.

Major Industry

Agriculture, government, casinos

Cities

Jackson (pt.), 141,565; Greenville, 34,400; Clinton, 25,216

Notable

Norris Bookbinding, based in Greenwood, is the largest Bible rebinding plant in the nation.

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