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Hyde-Smith, Espy victory margin could tell a broader story, experts say

Published: Nov. 3, 2020 at 6:00 AM EST
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - A number of Senate races are attracting national attention this year, and one of them is taking place in Mississippi. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) is projected to keep a hold on her seat, but the margin of victory could tell a broader story.

It is a much-anticipated rematch as the duo squared off in the special 2018 election. This year’s general election has national implications yet again.

Espy, the former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture has the firm backing of the Democratic Party who is hoping to add Espy into the pool of their candidates trying to flip seats. The Democrats hope to take back power from Republicans in the Senate in this election, and if Espy pulls out a victory it will indicate a massive night for the party.

But Hyde-Smith is running as an incumbent in a state that heavily favors President Donald Trump. Most forecasters see it as her race to lose given the conservative atmosphere in the state.

Johnathan Klingler, a political expert from the University of Mississippi says the candidate who wins is what matters most, but he argues the margin of victory could tell an important story too. While moral victories don’t lead to seats in the Senate chamber, Klingler says the implications of a narrow victory for Hyde-Smith could be positive for Espy and his backers.

“Human capital can be developed in the course of a campaign like this. When people are fired up and people feel a sense of achievement, that might plug activists into the Democratic Party here that were not active before, and that can help develop networks that can be leveraged for future elections,” said Klingler.

Polls close tonight at 7pm in Mississippi.

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