Dem pollster says 'counter-revolution' taking place in Georgia, Mississippi

Democratic pollster Silas Lee said in an interview that aired Thursday on Hill.TV's "What America's Thinking" that the South is experiencing a "counter-revolution," resulting in hotly contested races there. 

"You're looking at the Deep South in reference to Mississippi and Georgia, and in both states, you have African-Americans in the runoff," Lee, a sociology professor at Xavier University of Louisiana, told Hill.TV's Joe Concha on Wednesday.

"In Georgia, an African-American female. In Mississippi an African-American male, and in both states, they were epicenters for the Civil Rights Movement and for voter enfranchisement," he continued.  

"Fast-forward to 2018, we're back to the issue of protecting the vote and voter suppression, in reference to ensuring the right to vote for African-Americans and other people who have been historically disenfranchised," he said. 

"What we see right now in … Mississippi and Georgia, 'the Fifth Revolution,' I call it, … we went from protecting the rights of people in reference to social security, ecology, gender and race. Now it's the counter-revolution," he said.

"In many cases, you have opposites pulling against each other," he added. "One group for progress. Another group trying to protect what they think is a threat to changing demographics."  

In Mississippi, Democrat Mike Espy is in the midst of a runoff election with Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith for former Sen. Thad Cochran’s (R) seat. 

Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, meanwhile, is locked in a tight race against Republican Brian Kemp. Abrams, in the weeks leading up to November's midterm elections, accused then- Georgia Secretary of State Kemp of voter suppression, calling for him to recuse himself from any matters having to do with the election in which he was a candidate. As Georgia's secretary of state, Kemp oversaw the state's elections.

Kemp currently holds a slim lead in the contest, but Abrams's campaign has maintained that uncounted or incorrect ballots could stand to narrow Kemp's edge. 

A U.S. District Court judge sided with Abrams' campaign on Thursday, ruling that the secretary of state's office not certify results until absentee ballots on which the voter’s date of birth is missing or incorrect are counted.

— Julia Manchester