State Attorney General Jim Hood (D) said in an interview Wednesday that he is “doing everything I can to get ready to run for governor” in 2019. His pollster, Harrison Hickman, conducted internal polling (Oct. 1-5; 600 LVs; +/-4%) showing Hood leading Reeves by 13 points. That polling, he said, makes him confident that “stars are aligning” politically for Deep South Democrats like they did in Louisiana in 2015 and Alabama in 2017.
Hood added that he is getting encouragement from former state attorneys general like Govs. Steve Bullock (D-MT) and Roy Cooper (D-NC) as well as Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D). Hood said Democrats as well as Republican business leaders and legislators are also encouraging him to jump in.
Hood: “They know what we’re doing is not working, and those business people are business people before they’re partisan. And they want to see our government move. They don’t want to see their kids move out of state.”
Many, he said, agreed with his platform of “low-hanging fruit” including expanding Medicaid, increasing infrastructure funding, and implementing an Internet sales tax, funding education through a state lottery, and subsidizing free community or technical college. Hood predicted some of the legislators won’t endorse him publicly until after the 2019 legislative session when Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves (R), a likely candidate, “can’t hurt them.”
Hood: “The lieutenant governor is like Dan Aykroyd in The Blues Brothers, ‘I’m on a mission from God.’ Remember? So the mission from God is to be able to run in the next election and say, ‘I never raised anybody’s taxes,’ and he doesn’t care if the house is burning down around him.” (Hotline reporting)