Republican Mississippi Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith has been exposed for reveling in memorabilia from the slavery-era confederacy; attending a segregated school and, years later, sending her own kid to a segregated school; and also claiming she’d gladly go to a “public hanging”.
And yet, she is likely to be reelected today, when that state’s voters head to the polls. After all, its Mississippi–the state that became synonymous with brutal and often deadly racism in the Jim Crow era.
Judging by Hyde-Smith’s movements, though, Jim Crow might as well had never ended.
Democrat Mike Espy, a former Clinton cabinet Secretary, is seeking to become the first African-American to hold a U.S. Senate seat in the state’s history. But he’ll have to overcome the fact that the vast majority of White voters there are Republicans, not to mention the state’s racial past and demographics.
Mississippi’s Black population is close to 38%; political analysts believe Espy will need Black folks to turn out overwhelmingly and also pick up a chunk of White voters to have any chance of winning.
Hyde-Smith is a staunch Trump supporter, and the president hosted two rallies for her yesterday.
Analysts say that while Republicans appear poised to hod the seat, the dmaage done by Hyde-Smith’s skeletons coming out of the closet could mean even worse performance by Republicans with minority and moderate voters two years away from the 2020 elections–and weeks after Republicans lost control of the House and several governorships–thanks in part to increased votes from minority voters.