Mississippi Senate runoff nears finale

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Trump also cautioned that a Democratic win by Espy could "revoke" gains Republicans make in the Senate earlier this month.

The polls are open until 7 p.m. Tuesday in one of the most contentious senate races we've seen this year as Mike Espy and Cindy Hyde-Smith run for the Mississippi U.S. Senate seat in a runoff election.

Getty Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith peaks out from behind a curtain before a rally with US President Donald Trump at Landers Center Ð Arena in Southaven, Mississippi, on October 2, 2018.

Trump has campaigned heavily for her.

"We need more women in Congress, and I think we're slowly getting there", she said. Hyde-Smith previously faced bitter criticism for comments she made during a campaign event, in which she expressed a desire to attend a "public hanging" with one of her supporters. They say surveys have consistently shown her with a lead ranging from the mid-single digits to the low double digits. But she also blamed Espy and Democrats, saying her comments "were taken and twisted and used as a political weapon against me by my opponent".

The runoff was rocked by the video, in which Hyde-Smith said of a supporter, "If he invited me to a public hanging, I'd be on the front row".

President Trump plans to hold two rallies in MS on Monday in support of Hyde-Smith. Thad Cochran. The longtime lawmaker retired in April amid health concerns.

Espy is trying to become the first African-American to represent MS in the Senate since Reconstruction. The league cut the check for Hyde-Smith's campaign on November 12 or 13, two sources told Yahoo Sports - a day or two after the lynching comments were first made public by the Jackson Free Press.

News reports that the nooses were found on Monday morning, along with hate signs, outside the capitol building.

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President Donald Trump fired up a MS rally crowd Monday by referring to barbed-wire fences erected by military troops along the U.S. -Mexico border as "pretty nasty".

Mississippi Democrats hope to recreate the coalition that propelled Democrat Doug Jones to a Senate victory in neighboring Alabama previous year by energizing black voters, particularly women, and winning support from white swing voters. One of the signs says MS needs a senator "who respects the lives of lynch victims".

"I know her. And I know she apologized". As the white and Republican blocs in MS are larger than the black and Democratic blocs, it seems likely that her larger base will carry Hyde-Smith to a moderately strong victory. Major League Baseball did not say why it gave money to Hyde-Smith.

Hyde-Smith's campaign hammered Espy for his $750,000 lobbying contract in 2011 with the Cocoa and Coffee Board of the Ivory Coast.

Such donations have come under fire due to Hyde-Smith's recent comments and actions making jokes out of lynchings and glorifying Confederate history. What the signs said were not made immediately clear, as police refused to comment on their verbiage, citing an investigation that was ongoing.

Hyde-Smith was in her second term as MS agriculture commissioner when Republican Gov. Phil Bryant appointed her to temporarily succeed GOP Sen.

"I've never really hard anything about Mike Espy", said 19-year-old Marjorie Lam, a biology student at the community college.

"I put my reputation on the line, went through a trial, went through 70 witnesses against me, went through the special prosecutor who spent $26 million against me and I was found not guilty. I was going to vote for Mike Espy anyway".