Trump Hails 'Nasty Looking' Border Wire in Stump for Hyde-Smith

Trump Hails 'Nasty Looking' Border Wire in Stump for Hyde-Smith

Trump Hails 'Nasty Looking' Border Wire in Stump for Hyde-Smith

MS voters will head to the polls in the final midterm race of the election season. Cindy Hyde-Smith, who is facing Democrat Mike Espy in a Tuesday runoff election that could pad the GOP's current 52-47 advantage in the Senate.

The Jackson, Mississippi Free Press reported that in the 1970s Hyde-Smith attended a private high school that helped white parents avoid integration efforts, and later sent her own daughter to a similar private school.

Nevertheless she is expected to win in the staunchly Republican state.

Mississippi's past of racist violence became a dominant theme after a video showed Hyde-Smith praising a supporter in early November by saying, "If he invited me to a public hanging, I'd be on the front row".

MS has a history of racially motivated lynchings.

Another sign noted that MS had the highest record of lynchings between 1882 and 1968 - a statement backed by data on the NAACP's website.

It's a contest that has been buffeted by racial tensions after Hyde-Smith's public hanging comments.

Trump called her "a truly incredible leader and tireless champion" for Mississippi.

Trump predicted a big day on Tuesday for Hyde-Smith and the Republican Party. More than a week after the video's release, she said she apologized to "anyone that was offended by my comments", but also said the remark was used as a "weapon" against her.

She said the hanging remark was an "exaggerated expression of regard" for the supporter, but the remarks drew sharp criticism in a state with a 38 per cent black population.

State and federal investigators are trying to find out who hung seven nooses in trees outside the Mississippi Capitol early Monday. One of the signs says MS needs a senator "who respects the lives of lynch victims".

"I am asking all Mississippians to give me your vote tomorrow so I can ... protect our conservative values", she said.

"I know her, and I know she apologised, and she misspoke", the Republican president told reporters on his way to the southern state.

MS last elected a Democrat to the Senate in 1982, but Espy was trying for the same kind of long-shot win that fellow Democrat Doug Jones had almost a year ago in neighbouring Alabama, another conservative state.

Trippi advised Jones during his improbable win in Alabama past year, and emphasized that Jones won by only 23,000 votes despite facing a historically bad opponent who motivated Democratic voters and depressed GOP turnout.

If he prevailed, Mr Espy would become the first black senator since the Reconstruction Era following the US Civil War.

In the final weeks of the runoff, Hyde-Smith's campaign said the remark about making voting hard was a joke. Hyde-Smith won 41 percent of the vote November 6, Espy 40 percent, and McDaniel 17 percent, eliminating McDaniel for the runoff. And the simplest, most common reason why they support her?

Republicans tend to think Hyde-Smith didn't mean what she said and reject the idea that the comment had racial overtones.

Why is the election still ongoing?

President Donald Trump heads Monday to MS in a bid to save the Senate campaign of a Republican whose racially insensitive comments sparked a backlash.

Under the state's law, if no candidate wins over 50% of the votes, a runoff election must take place.

Students at the college had seen some of the attack ads against Hyde-Smith - but they couldn't say much about what Espy, a Secretary of Agriculture under President Clinton, stands for.

Respondents to the RRH Elections poll closely tracked those actual results. Espy is trying for the same kind of longshot win fellow Democrat Doug Jones had almost a year ago in neighboring Alabama, another conservative Deep South state where Republicans hold most statewide offices.

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