The trend of ridiculously bad appointed Southern senate incumbents continues and is entertaining in a hideous kind of way. Cindy Hyde-Smith is no Roy Moore. But coming off a feel good comment about lynching and ‘jokes’ about voter suppression she’s making a real run at it. She has now apparently demanded that there be no audience and no press at tonight’s sole debate in the Mississippi senate run off. It’s Mississippi, an extremely conservative state with extremely racialized voting. She’s definitely the favorite. But it does seem to be an actual race, with Roll Call just today moving it from Sold Republican to Likely Republican.
As someone put it to me today, the way to see this is if Mike Espy can get the same level of turnout he got on November 6th, he’ll probably win this thing. By normal standards that’s almost unimaginable. But Espy is a really good candidate. He’d be the first African-American senator from Mississippi since Reconstruction – I’m pretty sure from any Southern state. And Hyde-Smith is doing about all that could be expected of her to demoralize more affluent and educated white Mississippians and charge up the state’s large African-American population.
Tonight’s debate is the only debate. The election is Tuesday. Here’s Cam Joseph’s story on how the race is shaping up.