Mississippi: The Upset of Upsets?

A Republican Governor of the state of Mississippi? There has been no such thing since 1876, when one Adelbert Ames resigned under fire in his Reconstruction regime. In most elections since then the G.O.P. has either put up no candidate or furnished merely token opposition. About all the winner of a Democratic gubernatorial primary had to do was clear his throat and start polishing his inaugural speech.

But not this year. Heading for the Nov. 5 general election, Republican Rubel Phillips, 38, a former Democrat who was a state public service commissioner,...

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