GOP Racist Cindy Hyde-Smith Wins Senate Race in Mississippi

Saul Bowman
November 30, 2018

President Donald Trump won it by 18 points in 2016.

U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith speaks during an election night event at The Westin Hotel, November 27, 2018 in Jackson, Mississippi.

Incumbent Republican Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith of MS has won the run-off vote to increase the GOP majority to 53 - 47.

All of that helped the former state agriculture commissioner boring Espy's efforts to paint her as someone who would take the state backwards. The win capped off a tumultuous final few weeks of the campaign for Hyde-Smith who had a string of controversies, many of them touching on issues of race. Cochran, 80, resigned earlier this year citing health concerns. But because no one cleared 50 percent of the vote, they both advanced to Tuesday's runoff.

"Mr. President, thank you so much for all of your help", Hyde-Smith said in a victory speech to supporters, calling her win a triumph of "conservative values". She at first refused to apologize, and only at last week's debate did she offer a conditional apology "to anyone offended".

She was leading Espy 55 to 44 percent with 77 percent of the state's precinct's reporting, according to the Associated Press. Given Mississippi's recent pro-Republican complexion (it's been a long time since a Democrat won a Senate, gubernatorial or presidential election there) and history of racial polarization, the idea of an African-American Democrat like Espy winning seemed remote, even though Hyde-Smith ran a awful campaign marked by serial gaffes of a racially inflammatory nature.

He says this wasn't the result he and his supporters were hoping for but adds: "I'm very proud of this historic campaign". The senator's campaign responded to the report by attacking the "liberal media". Photos on her Facebook page from 2014 showed her wearing a Confederate soldier's hat during a tour of the Jefferson Davis Home and Presidential Library. The caption on the post read, "Mississippi history at its best!"


Additionally, when Hyde-Smith was in school she attended a whites-only segregated academy, set up by parents to avoid racially integrated schools.

Hyde-Smith and Espy were the top vote-getters among several candidates in a special election to replace retiring GOP Sen. Speaking to reporters later, she said Trump had called to congratulate her and said she'd "been through a storm" and "survived it with grace".

That created a possible opening for Espy.

Cindy: 'I guess what I'm really saying is F*** Hyde-Smith and anyone who voted for her. It was the centerpiece of her campaign.

CNN devoted a couple of thousand words to decrying Hyde-Smith's win, highlighting her various gaffes and public embarrassments while completely failing to mention that her opponent received payments from a tyrant accused of multiple murders and the encouragement of rape.

Democrats had hoped a surge in turnout among black voters - who make up almost 40% of Mississippi's population, the largest share in the nation - could carry Espy to victory in a state that is highly polarized along racial lines, with most white voters backing GOP candidates and black voters supporting Democrats. The campaign knocked on over 100,000 doors and volunteers made over 600,000 phone calls, just for the runoff. "She wasn't trying to send any messages". But, ultimately, in the largely rural state that's still deeply divided along racial lines, it wasn't enough. Doug Jones successfully employed last year in Alabama to become the first Democrat elected to the Senate from that state in 25 years.

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