JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - It’s more than a month out from the election and one race will be familiar to Mississippians, the U.S. Senate race between Cindy Hyde-Smith and Mike Espy.
You’ve likely started seeing the ads. Mike Espy has been describing what he believes to be Cindy Hyde-Smith’s shortfalls and displaying crossover support from Republicans. And Cindy Hyde-Smith has been focusing on her record in Washington the last two years.
Campaigning is looking much different this go around in the Senate race 2.0 for Cindy Hyde-Smith and Mike Espy. The latest poll by the Tyson Group shows a 41-40 percent split with Hyde-Smith narrowly leading. Espy seizing the chance to tell supporters he believes a win is possible. Hyde-Smith not expressing concern.
“It’s showed up in the polls," said Espy in a Facebook video. "I hope you’ve seen them. We’re still now just down one point.”
“We feel really good about this," said Hyde-Smith. "Don’t have a lot of confidence in that poll to be quite honest with you.”
Espy has been holding events around the state, many outdoors. Hyde-Smith hasn’t had any public campaign events in recent months. But she said Friday she’ll be traveling around the state this weekend before returning to D.C. Here’s what she said when asked if she’d debate Espy.
“I don’t know if the schedule will allow that," she said. "I don’t mind debating him at all. We’ve already done that. But I am more concerned right now with the issues in front of us than I am a debate. But I wouldn’t mind doing it at all if the schedules allows that.”
But Espy warns that he believes momentum is on his campaign’s side.
“If you hear noise, if it’s coming from behind you... you might better look behind you cause it might be an oncoming train,” Espy said.
In 2018, Jackson State professor Dr. D’Andra Orey noted that the results bucked the historical trends with Mike Espy taking 46 percent of the vote.
“Bill Clinton received 44 percent of the vote when he ran in 1996 as a native son of the South and then you had Barack Obama who received 43 percent and from there it’s down to about 40 percent of average that a Democrat receives,” explained Orey.
This year will have additional turnout factors, including the presidential race.