Political report does not list Mississippi’s senate race as a ‘toss-up’

Political report does not list Mississippi’s senate race as a ‘toss-up’

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Mississippi’s senate race is gaining more attention as election day draws closer.

There are 35 seats up for re-election in the United States Senate. Democrats are looking to flip four of those to win a majority. But Nonpartisan Cook Political Report doesn’t include Mississippi in its list of toss-up races.

We asked Millsaps Department of Government and Politics Chair Dr. Nathan Shrader why he thinks this race isn’t on those types of national lists.

“What would have to happen to change that is a number of consistent polls made public showing that this race really is a one or two point race," explained Shrader. "There’s that one poll that showed that but that’s about all we know that’s been made available to the public.”

But the race is garnering more attention. Wednesday, Mike Espy received an endorsement from President Barack Obama. And later in the day, President Donald Trump tweeted his support of Cindy Hyde-Smith.

Shrader notes Mississippians should be paying attention and says there are new dynamics at play this election cycle compared to the matchup two years ago.

“Working in Espy’s favor is just a sharper Mississippi-centric message," noted Shrader. "She also has the benefit this time of running with Donald Trump on the ballot.”

Hyde-Smith is emphasizing that her focus is on what she’s doing in Washington and her alignment with the President.

“People in Mississippi, right now they’re really excited about Amy Coney Barrett," explained Hyde-Smith on the campaign trail last week. "We’re just trying to get our message out. We had a terrible pandemic interruption and we need to get this economy back on track. We have a president that can lead us through that.”

Espy says he believes he had to run in 2018 to win now. His message is one he says resonates with all Mississippians, regardless of political party.

“Saving rural hospitals, paying teachers a decent salary, $15 minimum wage, building the image of Mississippi, Medicaid expansion," listed Espy as topics that he’s discussing with voters.

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