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Tonight We Find Out if Trump saved the Mississippi Republican Senate Seat (Update: Hyde-Smith wins)

Tonight We Find Out if Trump saved the Mississippi Republican Senate Seat (Update: Hyde-Smith wins)

Special election takes place on Tuesday.

Mississippi citizens hit the polls today to vote in the special election for the senate seat after Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, who took over in April after Thad Cochran retired, and Democrat Mike Espy tied on Election Day.

President Donald Trump went to Mississippi on Monday night in one final attempt to keep the seat red after controversies swamped Hyde-Smith for the past few weeks.

However, recent polls showed Hyde-Smith with a 10 point lead.

Trump Rallies

Rally in Tupelo

From The Washington Post:

“She votes for us and she votes for ‘Make America Great Again,’” Trump said at a rally in Tupelo, where he was accompanied by Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith.

Trump called Hyde-Smith “a truly incredible leader and tireless champion” for Mississippi.

“She stood up to the Democrat smear machine,” Trump said, praising her for voting to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who also attended the rally, told voters that if they want more Supreme Court justices like Brett Kavanaugh, they should cast ballots for Hyde-Smith.

Graham said: “If you like Kavanaugh, there’s more coming.”

Hyde-Smith told the crowd in Tupelo: “I worked very, very hard for you. I have stood up for you and you know I will continue to stand up for the conservative values of Mississippi.”

Rally in Biloxi

Trump and Hyde-Smith then jetted off to Biloxi for a much larger rally.

From Clarion Ledger:

The race between Hyde-Smith and Espy has narrowed in recent weeks, after Hyde-Smith was captured on video making comments praising a supporter and saying she would attend a “public hanging.”

Trump did not weigh in on the controversy at the rallies, instead touting Hyde-Smith’s conservative record, and casting Espy as too liberal for a state that voted for him overwhelmingly in 2016. He said Espy supports the “Democrat agenda of socialism and open borders.”

But Trump did tell reporters he felt Hyde-Smith had apologized. “I heard that loud and clear,” he told reporters. “There was something that was said, and it was a little flip.”

Hyde-Smith had refused to explain the comments for several days after the video of her talking about attending a “public hanging” was released. But at a debate with Espy last week, she said: “For anyone who was offended by my comments, I certainly apologize.”

“Her heart is good,” Trump added of the senator. “That’s not what she was meaning when she said that,” alluding to the many people around the country who had seen the comments as being racially-tinged in a state with a long history of lynchings.

Polls and Controversies

Hyde-Smith and Espy tied on Election Day, which means they will have a special election this upcoming Tuesday. Hyde-Smith took over the seat in April when Thad Cochran retired.

From The Washington Examiner:

A public poll conducted last week by RRH Elections, which FiveThirtyEight considers to be a conservative blog, shows Hyde-Smith with 54 percent to Espy’s 44 percent, double the lead she had in a private Republican poll reported by the New York Times on Tuesday.

Only 1% of those polled remain undecided. 84% of the respondents said they are almost certain to vote while 53% of them are female.

Right after the election, a video emerged of Hyde-Smith telling a cattle rancher that she’d attend a “public hanging” with him if he invited her.

Not the right thing to say, especially in a state that has a horrific past of lynchings and running against a black man.

The Democrats took off with it and Hyde-Smith apologized. From The Daily Caller:

“At a campaign event, I had the opportunity to visit with a supporter who has a big piece of my heart. His mother and dad both died of cancer when he was in high school,” Hyde-Smith explained. “So to express my deep regard and my sincere commitment to this young man, I used a phrase. I told him that I would fight a circle saw for him. Well, obviously, I would not stick my arm in a circle saw. Nor did any of my comments ever mean that I would enjoy any type of capital punishment sitting there witnessing it.”

“For anyone that was offended by my comments, I certainly apologize — there was no ill-will, no intent whatsoever in my statements,” Hyde-Smith said. “In nearly twenty years of service of being your state senator, your commissioner of agriculture, and your U.S. senator, I have worked with all Mississippians — it didn’t matter their skin type, their age, or their income. That’s my record. There has never been anything, not one thing, in my background to ever indicate I had ill-will toward anyone.”

“I also recognize that this comment was twisted and it was turned into a weapon to be used against me, a political weapon used for nothing but personal and political gain by my opponent,” Hyde-Smith continued. “That’s the type of politics Mississippians are sick and tired of.”

Then CNN revealed that back in 2007, then-state Sen. Hyde-Smith “promoted a measure that praised a Confederate soldier’s effort to ‘defend his homeland’ and pushed a revisionist view of the Civil War.”

Another video showed Hyde-Smith loving the idea of making it harder for students to vote.

A photo from 2014 showed Hyde-Smith wearing Confederate artifacts and stated, “Mississippi history at its best!”

While these controversies haven’t pushed away the voters, companies have come forward and demanded she return any money they have given to her. This includes Major League Baseball, Walmart, Pfizer, and AT&T.

UPDATE 10:20 p.m. Eastern.

Hyde-Smith is the projected winner. As of this time, with 73% of the precincts reporting, she’s up by 12 pts.


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Hopefully the Republicans will learn one important lesson:
You must have good candidates

Even the President cannot save someone who is lackluster and shoots herself in the foot, when the entire Press Corp is advocating against them.

    mailman in reply to MattMusson. | November 27, 2018 at 11:24 am

    Democrats get it so why can’t Republicans get it? What matters is the control of the seat NOT the quality of the candidate running.

After the Nuremberg trials, ten criminals were sentenced to death by hanging. Had I been alive then, I would have gladly attended. I know that disturbs some liberals, and means I may never be elected to an office, but I don’t care.

MS is an exact replay of AZ: an establishment scab held the seat for years, even long after he should’ve retired. He was challenged by a conservative, but the deep pockets of the corrupt establishment kept the incumbent in office.

The incumbent is unwillingly retired due to old age, then the establishment replaces them with another stooge. This is why I keep saying the system is rigged.

“Pushed a revisionist view of the Civil War”. The modern,, accented dogma regarding the civil war is a revisionist as it gets.

Thad Cochran(R) had been in federal elected office in one form or another for 45 years. Can anyone tell me what he accomplished?

It doesn’t matter. No one needs to be in government 45 years. I don’t know much about Smith or Espy. She maybe a RINO squish and he maybe an ailse crossing dealer. Who knows?

If Smith wins, the Senate will be 53-47 in favor of tribe GOP.

Since the crippling 17th of the amendment in 1913, the Senate is little more than Super-Legislators whose campaigns are fueled by tens of millions of dollars to sway popular opinion, by hook or crook.

What’s the prize? You got one job: advise & consent for installing or blocking judges and cabinet appointments.

Because legislating from the bench or writing policy with the force of law for an entire nation is a hell of a drug.

    “Since the crippling 17th amendment in 1913,…”

    You know what I meant. Dang Editor.

    Um, senators are legislators. That is their primary job; passing judgment on presidential appointments is very much a sideline. And the 17th amendment did nothing to change that.

    I don’t get the whole obsession people have with the 17th amendment. Senators were always supposed to represent the people of their state, not the legislators. And they always had six-year terms during which they were completely independent to vote however they liked. The only difference was whether they were elected directly or indirectly. Without the 17th amendment the state legislatures would turn into electoral colleges for the senate, with legislators being elected primarily based on whom they promised to support for senator, rather than on what laws they’d make for the state. That’s so obviously a bad idea I don’t understand how anyone could want it.

      Senators used to be legislators. It is no longer their primary job as ‘the most deliberative body, blah, blah.’

      No one spends 50 million dollars on a senate race just to pass laws. The stakes are higher, as I outlined.

      The 17th amendment virtually gutted the bicameral aspect of Congress. Senate races are far bigger than the interest of their respective states. These are essentially national races for a 1/100th stake in the national government.

      And the interest of the state as a sovereign entity before the federal government suffers as a result.

      tom_swift in reply to Milhouse. | November 28, 2018 at 1:56 am

      Senators were always supposed to represent the people of their state

      Not even close. Senators were intended to represent their states, not the population. Even with this provision, Rhode Island, the smallest of the Colonies, was the last to ratify the Constitution (although Delaware, another relatively small one, was one of the first).

      Concern about being swamped by the larger colonies was the major impediment to ratification, equaled only by reservations about the lack of an explicit Bill of Rights. A Senate representing each state equally addressed the first concern, and the first ten Amendments fixed the second one.

        Milhouse in reply to tom_swift. | November 28, 2018 at 9:54 am

        A state is its people, nothing more. The founders were very clear about that. Senators were to represent the people of their state, not the legislators who elected them, exactly as the president was to represent the people, not the electors who elected him. The legislators and electors were merely acting as agents of the people, who had elected them for that purpose.

        locomotivebreath, you’re contradicting yourself. You just complained that the 17th amendment had turned the senate into “little more than Super-Legislators”, but when I pointed out that senators had always been legislators, and that was their primary job, you did an about face and complained that “Senators used to be legislators. It is no longer their primary job.” So did the 17th amendment make them legislators when they shouldn’t be or did it stop them being legislators when they should be? You can’t have it both ways.

        The rest of your anti-17th rant makes no more sense. Senate races were always “races for a 1/100th stake in the national government”, just as house races are for a 1/435 stake, and the 17th did nothing to change that; but they are not national races any more than house ones are.

        Repealing the 17th would merely turn the state legislatures into equivalents of the electoral college. We don’t vote for our electors for their good judgment, expecting them to exercise it; on the contrary, we don’t even know whom we’re voting for, or how good their judgment is, we vote for anonymous candidates based entirely on their advance promise to vote for the presidential candidate we support. Without the 17th that’s what state legislative elections would turn into. Rather than being about who will make good laws for the state, they would be about whom they will promise to elect to the senate. And then the people elected on that basis will end up making the laws for two years. Imagine the electoral college displacing Congress; what a disaster that would be!

          alaskabob in reply to Milhouse. | November 28, 2018 at 1:44 pm

          I side with Swift and Mark Levine.. which means I side with the historical concept of the Senate. Think of it as the same concept as Electoral College.

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | November 28, 2018 at 4:37 pm

          The “historical concept of the senate” is completely unchanged by the 17th. Senators today function within the congress exactly as they did 200 years ago. It’s congress as a whole whose importance has expanded with the size and power of the federal government, which makes it more important that they be elected directly rather than indirectly by the people they were always supposed to represent. State legislatures were never supposed to be reduced to mere electoral colleges, but that’s what they would be without the 17th. (For that matter the presidential electoral college was not supposed to be reduced to the mere cypher it is, but it only took 12 years for that to happen, which means the framers ought to have expected it.)

What is important about this seat is that it removes the threat a RINO such as that guy from Utah has with a 52-48 split if Mississippi isn’t held. Given all of the previous Democrat Republicans that were outsourced in November having a smaller majority to use to undermine your President makes Democrats lives significantly easier.

buckeyeminuteman | November 27, 2018 at 12:16 pm

I too would attend a public hanging if they still occurred. When life is taken and guilt is certain, punishment should be swift and severe. Waiting around on death row for 30 years for a murderer to die of prostate cancer is ridiculous.

    Richard Grant in reply to buckeyeminuteman. | November 27, 2018 at 1:39 pm

    Being against “hanging” is so phony.

    There is not one of us who doesn’t have a Historical list of those who SHOULD be hanged.

    Some don’t like Hitler. Some don’t like Lincoln. Some don’t like Abraham, some don’t like David Duke, some don’t like MLK………

    So, all of you, get off your holy soap box.

She’s up by 10 and above 50% as of yesterday, so it doesn’t seem like there’s going to be a problem. The Democrats ran a very flawed candidate themselves.

Hangings are supposed to be public. They’re not about spectacle, they’re about government accountability. The idea is to discourage the government from growing fond of secret executions. “Public” means that the press some civic-minded citizens are supposed to attend. It’s no great crime to be civic-minded, even if the D’rats think it is.

OleDirtyBarrister | November 27, 2018 at 2:12 pm

Ole Miss is a conservative state and its degree of conservatism should lead to a victory on its own. But voter turn out is always important and controls to prevent late ballot submissions in the Dem precincts are essential. Otherwise they will hold out on submissions until they know approximately how many more ballots they need to steal the election.

Hyde is not a particularly charismatic and impressive candidate, and that along with her inability to generate enough turnout to win in the general raises doubts about voter enthusiasm and turnout in the special. I hope Donnie Orange going down there is enough to catalyze Republican turnout.

Right after the election, a video emerged of Hyde-Smith telling a cattle rancher that she’d attend a “public hanging” with him if he invited her.
Not the right thing to say, especially in a state that has a horrific past of lynchings and running against a black man.

I don’t get this whole thing. I know there is a common myth, especially among black people, that lynching was exclusively or predominantly a racist phenomenon, so that the very mention of lynching evokes in them an image of white mobs murdering black people, especially innocent ones. It’s historical nonsense, as the very name should tell anyone, but I’m aware it’s commonly believed, so wouldn’t have surprised if Hyde-Smith had made some joke about lynching and been unfairly called racist for it.

But what surprised me is that she didn’t say anything about lynching. She joked about public executions, which are the exact opposite of lynchings. What’s racist about that, especially in a state that supposedly supports capital punishment?

    I think the shorter version would read, “Plenty of white people were put to death through hanging. Not lynching, hanging. No one mentioned lynching.”

      Milhouse in reply to JBourque. | November 28, 2018 at 1:21 am

      For that matter plenty of white people were lynched, too. Probably more white people than black ones. But lynching is not relevant here.

        alaskabob in reply to Milhouse. | November 28, 2018 at 1:47 pm

        and Chinese and Irish and Italians…. many people got lynched. But history needed revision for use by only one group.

      tom_swift in reply to JBourque. | November 28, 2018 at 2:05 am

      Even worse—lynch is not synonymous with hang. A lynching is any execution by the mob rather than by legal authority. Hanging is a common form of execution, probably the most common, but certainly not the only one. The defining feature is the mob, not the noose. But that’s the way it is in the movies, so that’s how most people—who of course have absolutely no experience of the real thing—envision it.

        Milhouse in reply to tom_swift. | November 28, 2018 at 2:18 am

        The only reason hanging was historically the most common form of lynching was because it was the iconic form of legitimate execution. Lynch mobs usually wanted to pretend to a form of legitimacy, so they mimicked the forms of a proper execution.

        To this day, although the practice of execution has moved on, the language mostly hasn’t, and in English “hanging” is the way one refers to execution in the abstract. (In the US “electric chair” has made a bit of an inroad into that linguistic domain, although it is now as obsolete as hanging.)

        So when someone jokes about a hanging they are referring to a legitimate execution, not a lynching. Lynching has its own terminology.