Cindy Hyde-Smith has won the runoff for the special election to replace Senator Thad Cochran, who retired due to medical reasons back in April. In so doing, she has become the first woman from Mississippi elected to the United States Senate.
Hyde-Smith thoroughly toppled opponent Mike Espy by what is currently an 8% victory at press time to clinch the seat with what will likely be near or slightly exceeding 900,000 votes statewide. That is remarkable turnout for a runoff election.
Monday night, prior to the election, President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham rallied for Hyde-Smith in Tupelo and on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
Governor Phil Bryant and President Donald Trump publicly congratulated Hyde-Smith via Twitter following the call.
Cindy Hyde-Smith has come through the crucible of the most negative campaign in modern Mississippi. She won with character and dignity—something her opponents know little of. She will continue to serve as the first woman from Mississippi elected to the United States Congress. ?? pic.twitter.com/97EPOafW7V
— Phil Bryant (@PhilBryantMS) November 28, 2018
Congratulations to Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith on your big WIN in the Great State of Mississippi. We are all very proud of you!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 28, 2018
Hyde-Smith addressed a crowd at the Westin following the win.
“First of all, I want to thank God for this opportunity,” said the Senator-elect.
Hyde-Smith did not clinch the seat without controversy. Social media outrage roared nationally after a video circulated of her making remarks about attending a public hanging when campaigning in Oxford.
Monday, prior to the election, nooses and signs regarding Cindy Hyde-Smith’s comments were found throughout the Capitol, which sparred an investigation lead by the Mississippi Department of Public Safety.
The margin of victory is notable despite the unprecedented national media attention that was decidedly pro-Espy and anti-Hyde-Smith. Both sides and unaffiliated independent entities spent millions. But the polling moved almost none in the last four weeks, and delivered what was a very typical party-line victory for the Republican, Hyde-Smith.
Espy gracefully conceded according to media reports in a manner that backs up his claims of willingness to work across party lines.
“There are just not enough votes outstanding to make a difference,” Mike Espy says in conceding his loss in #Mississippi Senate election. Says he called Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith to congratulate her. “She has my prayers…” #MSSen
— Emily Wagster Pettus (@EWagsterPettus) November 28, 2018
He then turned to Twitter to thank his supporters.
While this is not the result we were hoping for, I am proud of the historic campaign we ran and grateful for the support we received across Mississippi.
— Mike Espy (@espyforsenate) November 28, 2018
We will have additional analysis on the race tomorrow, but here’s our real time analysis that we had through the 9:00 p.m. hour this evening.
Remember to join Alan Lange on the Paul Gallo Show on Supertalk Mississippi tomorrow morning at 7:05 a.m.