Mississippi is going to have a run-off election on November 27 to decide its senate seat. This should have been an easy win for the incumbent Republican senator Cindy Hyde-Smith against her Democratic opponent Mike Espy. But Hyde-Smith, who was appointed to the seat to replace Thad Cochran who had to retire due to ill health, had managed to make the race more competitive by various bone-headed moves such as wearing a confederate cap and praising a secessionist general from the civil war, suggesting that suppressing the votes of liberals would be a good idea, and worst of all, saying that she would gladly be in the front row for a lynching. The last was particularly egregious given that state’s history of public lynchings and the fact that her opponent is black.
Yesterday, Hyde-Smith and Espy had a ‘debate’ but Hyde-Smith, clearly running scared and fearing bombing in the debate, demanded extraordinary conditions that were clearly designed to make it easy for her. She even demanded that there be no live audience or press in attendance.
Hyde-Smith demanded that there be no live audience or outside press in attendance. She also requested that the candidates have access to the podium notepads an hour before the debate. And she demanded that a planned segment in which the candidates would ask each other questions be changed, with the questions submitted beforehand and asked by the moderator. Hyde-Smith’s campaign actually asked for even more accommodation, requesting she be allowed to bring in a binder of pre-existing notes, but was denied.
How did she get the debate organizers to agree to such conditions?
Every board member of the Mississippi Farm Bureau, which is hosting the debate, has donated to the Hyde-Smith campaign. According to the Free Press, President Mike McCormick and North Vice President Donald Gant contributed $500 each, while Central Vice President Ted Kendall gave $3,500.
That’s democracy, Mississippi-style.
During this pseudo-debate, Hyde-Smith wrapped herself tightly around Donald Trump while Espy said that her comments about lynchings and the confederacy were reminding people of Mississippi’s ugly past and that he represented the future .
It seems very likely that Hyde-Smith will win the run=off because the third candidate who got 16.5% of the vote and prevented her or Espy from getting the required 50% was also a Republican.