Walmart asked Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) to return its campaign donation after the retail giant was criticized for supporting the lawmaker after she made controversial comments about attending a hypothetical “public hanging,” CNBC reports.
“Republicans hoped to spend the final days of the special election in Mississippi coronating Cindy Hyde-Smith as the first woman to represent the state in the Senate. Instead, the race has become a bare-knuckle brawl infused with ugly racial politics,” Politico reports.
“Hyde-Smith’s comments about attending a public hanging and suppressing liberal votes — remarks she maintained were made in jest — have upended a contest that a week ago was seen as a mere formality for the GOP.”
New York Times: “Facing an uproar in a state divided by race and deeply scarred by a history of lynchings carried out against African-Americans, Ms. Hyde-Smith has since retreated from the campaign trail, ducking reporters’ questions and declining to apologize.”
Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) accepted a donation from Peter Sieve, a businessman in Washington state known for his white supremacist views, just days after a video published by Bayou Brief surfaced in which she says she would be “on the front row” if a supporter invited her to “a public hanging,” the Jackson Free Press reports.
“A U.S. Senate runoff that was supposed to provide an easy Republican win has turned into an unexpectedly competitive contest, driving Republicans and Democrats to pour in resources and prompting a planned visit by President Trump to boost his party’s faltering candidate,” the Washington Post reports.
“Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith stumbled recently when, in praise of a supporter, she spoke of her willingness to sit with him in the front row of a public hanging — words that, in the South, evoked images of lynchings. She has struggled to grapple with the fallout, baffling members of her party and causing even faithful Republicans to consider voting for her opponent, former congressman Mike Espy.”
“That Espy is attempting to become the state’s first black senator since shortly after the Civil War made her remarks all the more glaring.”
Politico reports President Trump has scheduled a rally for later this month help Hyde-Smith’s candidacy.
A video surfaced of Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS saying it might be a “great idea” to make it harder for some people to vote, and her campaign quickly responded that she was “obviously” joking, NBC News reports.
Said Hyde-Smith: “And then they remind me that there’s a lot of liberal folks in those other schools who … maybe we don’t want to vote. Maybe we want to make it just a little more difficult. And I think that’s a great idea.”
A backlash against Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith’s (R) “public hanging” joke is shaking up the Senate runoff race in Mississippi, prompting Republican concerns about their chances of retaining the deep-red seat, The Hill reports.
Jackson Clarion Ledger: “A political action committee supporting U.S. Senate candidate Mike Espy has released a video online showing Espy’s opponent in the Nov. 27 Mississippi runoff race, Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, superimposed into an old photo of a white crowd attending the lynching of two black men.”
Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) was peppered with questions about her “public hanging” comments caught on tape over the weekend, but each time she refused to answer, referring reporters back to her prepared statement, the Jackson Free Press reports.
Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R) defended Hyde-Smith by trying to change the subject and implying that black women are participating in “the genocide of 20 million African American children” through legal abortions.
The video of the news conference is worth watching.
“A crowded U.S. Senate race in Republican stronghold Mississippi could set the stage for weeks of uncertainty over which party ends up controlling the upper chamber of Congress after the Nov. 6 elections,” Reuters reports.
“Two Republicans and two Democrats are contesting a special election to serve out the remainder of retired Republican Senator Thad Cochran’s term. Under state law, if no one gets 50 percent of the vote, the top two candidates regardless of party affiliation will go to a Nov. 27 runoff.”
“It is a scenario that could focus international attention on the Southern state and bring in millions of dollars from outside political groups.”
A new NBC News/Marist poll in Mississippi finds Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R) leading the “jungle primary” field with 38% of likely voters, followed by Mike Espy (D) at 29%, Chris McDaniel (R) at 15% and Tobey Bartee (D) at 2%..
If no candidate wins a majority, the race goes to a runoff between the top two finishers.
Mississippi U.S. Senate candidate Chris McDaniel (R) said the sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh were made up, the AP reports.
Said McDaniel: “They’re going to drag something up, at least even theoretically, allegedly, from all those years ago. All of the sudden, that disqualifies this man? All of the sudden, he’s a terrible human being? No, not a chance. You know, I don’t fall for it anymore. I hope the American people aren’t falling for it. These allegations, 99 percent of the time, are just absolutely fabricated.”
He added: “I’m tired of all these made-up scandals, frankly.”
“Mike Espy is running for the runoff — the sort of election that some African Americans have said for years is designed to keep them from winning,” McClatchy reports.
“The runoff is baked into Espy’s campaign strategy against Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith and conservative firebrand Chris McDaniel, Republicans who he’ll face in a so-called ‘jungle’ primary special election Nov. 6 to finish the final two years of GOP Sen. Thad Cochran’s six-year term.”
“The thinking about runoffs goes like this: A black candidate in the South could easily win a multi-candidate primary, as long as they get most of the black vote, which could be as high as the mid-to-low 30s. But in a one-on-one contest, the potential to add to that total is diminished.”
President Trump’s campaign “canceled a second rally ahead of Hurricane Florence’s landfall, citing safety concerns as the storm threatens to wreak havoc on the East Coast,” Politico reports.
“The rally was scheduled for Thursday in Missouri to promote U.S. Senate candidate Josh Hawley, who is running against Sen. Claire McCaskill in the upcoming midterm election. The Trump campaign also canceled a rally in Mississippi on Monday in anticipation of the storm.”
President Trump “has canceled a rally that was planned for Friday in Jackson, Mississippi because of safety concerns due to the approach of Hurricane Florence,” Reuters reports.
A new Mehlman poll (D) in Mississippi shows Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) edging challenge Mike Espy (D) 29% to 27%, followed by state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R) at 17%.
The poll also showed Espy led in both runoff scenarios. He led Hyde-Smith 41% to 38%, and finished ahead of McDaniel, 45% to 27%.
“A fundraising letter from Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) says that President Trump and Vice President Pence support her, but to-date neither has endorsed her and the White House has reportedly expressed concern over her candidacy,” the Jackson Clarion Ledger reports.
“Supporters of Republican candidate Chris McDaniel (R) — who has urged Trump to endorse him, or at least not endorse Hyde-Smith — cried foul over the letter.”
A new Triumph Campaigns poll in Mississippi finds Mike Espy (D) and Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) neck and neck in the special election to replace Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS), 33% to 33%. They are followed by Chris McDaniel (R) at 13% and Jason Shelton (D) at 6%.
The special election will not have party primaries and is likely to go to a runoff.
In head-to-head matchups, Hyde-Smith leads Espy, 42% to 36%, while Espy leads McDaniel, 43% to 24%.
Associated Press: “He is one of the Republican Party’s most-prized recruits, a young U.S. Senate candidate with an outsider resume and a populist message designed to appeal equally to farmers, suburban moms and the national GOP’s moneyed elite.”
“But things get complicated when you ask Josh Hawley about President Trump. Hawley, who launched a Republican Senate bid in Missouri less than a year after being elected state attorney general, won’t say whether he considers the Republican president a role model.”