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Mississippi Senate runoff race results, Cindy Hyde-Smith and Mike Espy

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Cindy Hyde-Smith and Mike Espy
U.S.
Senate candidate Mike Espy and U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R)
are seen in combination file photos, in Jackson, Mississippi,
U.S. on May 8, 2018 and in Southaven, Mississippi, U.S. on
October 2, 2018 respectively.

REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman (L) and REUTERS/Jonathan
Ernst/File Photos


  • Voters in Mississippi have cast ballots in a hotly
    contested runoff election for a Senate seat in the state on
    Tuesday.
  • The Mississippi runoff is the last Senate election to
    be decided since the November 6 midterm elections.
  • The stakes are high. If Espy, a former congressman and
    Clinton administration alum, comes out ahead, he would become
    Mississippi’s first elected Democratic senator since
    1972.
  • Hyde-Smith, the incumbent who was appointed to the
    office in March after Sen. Thad Cochran resigned, is favored to
    hold the seat in deep-red Mississippi. She also enjoys the
    support of President Donald Trump, who received nearly 58% of
    the vote there in 2016.

Mississippi voters have cast their ballots in the state’s Senate
runoff election on Tuesday, bringing to an end the final Senate
election of the 2018 season.

Republican incumbent Cindy Hyde-Smith and her Democratic
challenger Mike Espy are both vying for the seat in a deep-red
state where President Donald Trump took nearly 58% of the vote in
2016.

The stakes are high. If Espy, a former congressman and Clinton
administration alum, comes out ahead, he would become
Mississippi’s first elected Democratic senator since 1972.

Hyde-Smith, the state’s former agriculture and commerce
commissioner who was appointed to the Senate seat in March after
Sen. Thad Cochran resigned, is favored to win, despite recent
criticism she received after telling a supporter she would attend
a “public hanging,” if invited.

That remark conjured Mississippi’s history of racism, lynchings,
and Jim Crow laws — andcaused
a handful of companies to withdraw their support
of
Hyde-Smith’s campaign. She has apologized for the comment.

Espy has sought to capitalize on the fallout from Hyde-Smith’s
missteps, as well as subsequent revelations that his Republican
opponent
attended a “segregation academy” and celebrated the
Confederacy
.

But he, too, faces significant headwinds on the road to
Washington.

An assessment from FiveThiryEight indicates that Espy
would need an “unprecedented” swing in order to win
Tuesday
night.

Some Democrats have held out hope for Espy. The runoff in
Mississippi loosely resembles the December 2017 special election
in neighboring Alabama,
where voters chose Democrat Doug Jones
over the embattled
Republican Roy
Moore
, whose campaign was crushed under the weight of a
sexual misconduct scandal.

That election gave Alabama its first Democratic senator in more
than two decades.

This story will be updated as results come in.

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