Will the Delta State Deliver for McCain?

A border state nestled in the Deep South, Mississippi has voted solidly Republican in every presidential election since President Reagan took office in 1980. The Delta State, named after the Mississippi River, carries six electoral votes.

(ABC News)

Senator John McCain beat his GOP competitors by a landslide in the state's Republican primary in March, winning 79 percent of the vote. Senator Barack Obama also had a strong showing in Mississippi, winning the Democratic contest with more than sixty percent of the vote, a victory that was largely supported by overwhelming support among black voters. Mississippi has the highest percentage of black voters of any state in the nation, however even if Obama is able to mobilize a record number of African-Americans, history suggests it may still be quite difficult for the Democrat to turn the state blue.

According to exit polls in 2004, Sen. John Kerry captured 90 percent of the black vote in Mississippi, however, President George W. Bush was still able to take the state by a margin of 20 percent.

It should also be noted that local Mississippi politics have taken an unexpected turn as just this year, the Democrats captured three Congressional seats from the Republicans in special elections.

Both candidates made stops in the Delta State during the long campaign season, and on September 26, McCain and Obama will appear together at the University of Mississippi in Oxford for the first presidential debate.

The latest ABC News assessment categorizes Mississippi as "Solid Republican," but check back to follow Mississippi's political tide and find out when ABC News will be visiting.

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