Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Sid Salter: Espy Has Tough Road in Senate Race

Conservative newspaper columnist George Will is a magnificent political observer and a marvelous writer. Whether it’s politics or baseball, Will’s stuff is a reliably good read.

A Will column earlier this month on Democrat Mike Espy’s current run for the U.S. Senate in Mississippi was mostly spot on. Espy is a tested, honorable public servant who would be capable of representing Mississippi in the U.S. Senate if elected.


As Will suggests, Espy is battle tested and his family has a solid track record in Mississippi Delta politics. Will’s column suggests that Espy could “finagle” a win in his Nov. 6 showdown with Republican U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith of Brookhaven, Tea Party favorite state Sen. Chris McDaniel of Ellisville, and Gulf Coast municipal official Tobey Bartee.

Will’s argument is as follows: “Here is the arithmetic Espy is using to try to pry open the wallets of national Democratic donors:

“Assume that he wins 95 percent of the African American turnout. If that turnout is 33 percent of the total state turnout, as it was in 2016 when Hillary Clinton expended no resources on Mississippi, he needs 28 percent of the remaining vote.

“If African American turnout is 35 percent — the African American portion of the state’s registered electorate — he would need 26 percent of the other votes. If African American turnout mirrors the African American portion of the state’s population (37 percent), he needs to receive 24 percent of the remaining vote.

“If the African American turnout is 39 percent of the total, a surge in turnout similar to what occurred in the Alabama special Senate election won by Democrat Doug Jones, Espy will need just 22 percent of the remaining vote,” Will’s winning scenario for Espy holds.

Yet it’s in the voter turnout mathematics that Will loses me in that scenario.

Espy indeed has a slight window of opportunity in the race and that window only opens if there is a historic voter turnout among African American and white Democratic voters on Nov. 6. Such a turnout would have to engage the potent political machine of current 2nd District U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson of Bolton, who succeeded Espy in Congress.

Thompson and the Espy family have a spirited political history. Thompson, one should note, has gotten the better of those exchanges. But assume, if you will, that everything is rainbows and unicorns between the Espy and Thompson camp in the Mississippi Class II open primary Senate race.

Even in that scenario, how good does voter turnout among Democrats have to be for Espy to make a prophet of George Will?

In 2008, during Barack Obama’s first race for president against Republican John McCain, Mississippi produced the highest voter turnout numbers in the state's history. Records chronicle that 1.289 million Mississippians voted in the 2008 November general election out of 1.895 million registered voters or 68 percent. Four years later, in 2012, 1.285 million Mississippians voted in Obama’s presidential re-election bid against Republican Mitt Romney.

Obama got 43 percent of the Mississippi vote in 2008 and 43.8 percent in 2012 – but still lost Mississippi by just under 150,000 votes. The suggestion that Mike Espy is going to generate a predominantly African-American Democratic voter turnout among Mississippians that rivals or bests Barack Obama in 2008 or 2012 is, at best, quite a stretch.

What is likely is a runoff election after Nov. 6 in which Espy is among the top two candidates. At that point, the contest becomes yet another exercise in Democrats trying to break the dominant hold that the GOP has held for a quarter-century in federal politics in Mississippi.

With President Trump, the National Rifle Association, National Right to Life, the Farm Bureau, and virtually every business, professional, and agricultural organization in the state openly backing Hyde-Smith over McDaniel among GOP voters, it’s hard to see her campaign stall in the stretch run.

Sid Salter is a syndicated columnist. Contact him at sidsalter@sidsalter.com.


66 comments:

Who Has Two Thumbs said...

Trump on George Will: You know, he’s a dour guy. Nobody watches him. Very few people listen to him. It’s over for him, and I never want his support.

“You know, I had a run-in with him when I was in civilian life,” Trump said. “I didn’t wanna go to one of his speeches at Mar-a-Lago. He made a speech at Mar-a-Lago, and I find him to be a very boring person. You know, he’s boring and dull, and I didn’t go to the speech.”

“Look, let’s face it, I mean, the guy writes a bad column every time he writes a column. I don’t know how often he writes them. I don’t really know.”

Anonymous said...


"Espy is a tested, honorable public servant ... "

Thanks Sid ... saved me from taking the time to read the whole column

Anonymous said...

Chris Mcdaniel scared President Trump away from Mississippi.

Anonymous said...

Politicians pay good money for this kind of analysis.

Anonymous said...

I ain't voting for Espy because his son played ball for the TSUN Ole Piss Guppybear Preppies. That's how I make all the major decisions in my life.

We ain't obsessed with y'all!

Anonymous said...

Yea Sid, the last time Espy was a public servant, he was agriculture secretary under Pres. Zipperman and had to resign in disgrace for taking illegal gifts. How does that qualify as tested and honorable. Geez, and you reporters wonder why no one believes a damn thing you y'll write.

Anonymous said...

Espy...honourable public servant? Morgan & Morgan, For the People. Specifically Mike Espy. Follow that trail.

Anonymous said...

This guy is writing articles about articles!?! C'mon!

Anonymous said...


What Espy has to do is pay black Democrats to turn out and vote. Worked for Thad!

Anonymous said...

Espy honorable? Sid seems to have forgotten why Espy was forced to resign his position as Secretary of Agriculture and become an ambulance chaser.

Anonymous said...

ESPY also gained plush $$$ USDA Rural Development jobs in Mississippi for his field staff when he left for DC.

Anonymous said...

CHS's people have come out in force to do her bidding (again) on this one.

Meanwhile, the Senator is busy ducking and dodging a single debate.

Where is the "honor" in running scared?

Anonymous said...

Free football tickets anyone?

Anonymous said...

I wish somebody would run a 'None of the Above' campaign like Richard Pryor/Monty Brewster did in "Brewster's Millions". There's not a single one of those 4 clowns running worth voting for.

Anonymous said...

Is 8:07 talking about Will or Sid?

Anonymous said...

I read no further than "Espy is tested and honorable". Whoever wrote that, and I assume it was Salter (minus cocaine) bust have a mighty damned short memory.

Anonymous said...

You all can forget Espy's short stint at Fed Agriculture. Look back no further than his representation of a gaggle of thieves in the Madison County Office Complex. Well, there's always his even shorter stint at Canton Municipal Utilities. Or his pro-bono representation of Pearl River District in the dumb-ass failed efforts to put a Trace exit at Lost Rabbit.

Anonymous said...

I'm not surprised that George Will is over some people's heads. He does use big words occasionally and in complete sentences.

I'm not surprised that those same people can't keep up well enough to know that Espy was acquitted of any wrongdoing.

If the " never a woman",and the McDaniel crazies split the GOP vote, Espy could slip in. He's certainly the most qualified and best educated of the candidates. But, competence doesn't play well in MS so we'll see.

Anonymous said...

We need Espy as an additional check on the fool in the White House.

Anonymous said...

Trump's cancellation leaves the appointed senator with a hole in her schedule. Why not use that time to debate...?

Anonymous said...

The problem with this scenario is that Mike Espy is being written about as if he is a typical "black" candidate depending solely on black and Democrat turnout. Mike's support is very diverse and far-reaching.
I consider myself a Republican. I would never cast a vote for McDaniel. I had no problem with Cindy as Ag Commissioner, but she is not qualified for U.S. Senate. Sorry, Phil. Espy has my vote.
P.S. Espy was found not guilty of the charges of which he was accused.
P.S.S. 8:56, you're a complete idiot.

Anonymous said...

Epsy doesn't have a chance in Missippi. Nationwide it looks like the House at a minimum goes to the Democrats. I expect Trump to blame all of you for failing him. Then he will go out and make deals with the Democrats.

Anonymous said...


Keeping an open mind, I'll wait to see Espy's list of ten reasons why he should be elected before I actually decide. His lists seem to persuade other true blue, honest Americans ... such as Bill Clinton.

Anonymous said...

For the 1000th time for you folks in the back (9:16 in particular), despite being forced to resign, Espy was investigated by a special counsel for 4 years and acquitted by a Federal jury. For those of you in either Rio Linda or Pelahatchie, that means he was found not guilty.

Anonymous said...

Easy for Espy to say he'll debate when he knows that Hyde-Smith won't. The last thing Espy actually wants is a debate because then he'd have to defend his Party and that would be a lose-lose proposition for his campaign.

Anonymous said...

The fact that CHS is not running away with this election despite all the endorsements and campaign cash shows how bad of a candidate she is. Phil is silently regretting his decision...

Anonymous said...

2:05 - Cindy is to Phil what Sarah was to McCain. Always best to vet your picks before you pick 'em.

Anonymous said...

CHS is a Trump apologist - just like Roger Wicker - and an embarrassment to our state.

Sol Juette said...

https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/special/counsels/stories/espy123097.htm

Anonymous said...

Trump would carry Mississippi again if the election were held tomorrow 2:29. He'll carry the state in 2020.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how CHS will vote on the Carolinas Disaster Aid Bill?

Anonymous said...

Espy was acquitted of bogus charges.

Acquitted.

He did make money representing injured people after he left butler snow as a partner.

Yes...Mike was a partner at Butler Snow.

He also represented Madison County and helped put millions of dollars of property back on the tax rolls.

Mike knows agriculture and forestry.....MS products.

Mike can win this race and represent this states people.

I like Mike.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Espy was found not guilty - by a jury of his "peers" in DC. But not noted by all the defenders here is the fact that several others were found guilty of giving him gifts - bribery that is. Amazing thing, the people 'giving' the gifts were guilty, but the federal official receiving them was not. Must have to do with that 'peers' thing.

Same issue in the Holmes County midnight meeting with Espy's supporters and their ASCS payments. Several people there went to jail for following their bosses direction (USDA Secretary Espy) but somehow his presence at the barn that night somehow got lost in the shadows. They went to jail while he left there as a 'proud, public servant'.

Wonder if sometime between now and November 6th the details of that meeting might surface.

Anonymous said...

I thought we established ourselves as a nation Willing to look away when politicians commit bad acts. Our commander in tweets bragged about sexually assaulting women, filed bankruptcy several times, cheated on his wife and paid mistresses hush money, has obvious ties to Russia. It seems that everyone in his circle lies about their ties to Russia. Either he knows or is a horrible judge of character and has no control over his staff. Neither is good. All of this and people look away because they believe he will make their lives better. Espy is acquitted and now he’s not honorable and not worthy of your vote?

Anonymous said...

Cindy Hyde-Smith is an incumbent U.S. Senator but polls show that 73% of the voters are against her and support Espy, McDaniel, etc. This is a really bad place to be for an incumbent Senator and usually is a strong sign of an upset coming. I think either Espy or McDaniel would defeat her in a runoff

Anonymous said...

Mike has the charisma to get there. He just needs the DNC. Sadly, they are defending more important seats and trying to claim others.

Anonymous said...

@ September 12, 2018 at 9:53 AM

What Espy has to do is pay black Democrats to turn out and vote. Worked for Thad!

Can anyone ever not be a bigot and say bigot sh*t like this!? Good Lord is every person a character from Mississippi Burning on here!? SMH

Anonymous said...

Why are you here 6:43?

Anonymous said...

If Epsy were to win, hell would freeze over and Pence will be President this time next year.

Anonymous said...

5:37 pm

You are a racist.

“Peers” - you mean other blacks voted his not guilty...because they are black.

Do you know the jury wasn’t all black? OMG white people voted him not guilty?

You are a relic....destined to the trash heap. Good riddance.

Anonymous said...

Right, everybody is a racist. Why don't you start a podcast. Then you can really rant.

Anonymous said...

Anybody check the temperature down there lately, global warming is affecting everything these days, Florence is moving to the South.

Anonymous said...

5:37, those people pled guilty. They took a deal. They weren’t found guilty. The Gov’t spent 4 years, $10+ million investigating Espy. Placed 70 witnesses on the stand against him. He didn’t offer a single witness and was acquitted.

You’re entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts.

Anonymous said...

Espy should be campaigning for McDaniel. The way to ensure a heavy black turnout is to get McDaniel in the runoff instead of CHS. Plenty of motivation to go vote. (It is sad that isn't motivation enough for the white vote. . .)

Anonymous said...

CHS is unqualified and too Mississippi-ish to be in Congress, and by that I mean nonprogressive. I hate the way she tries to make us believe that Trump is the GOAT. Why would anyone vote for someone who can't or won't call out Trump for his bad behavior?

Lightbulb Goes Off.. said...

So...to recap: Black guys who support Espy for no reason other than the color of his skin are referring here to white guys as racists. Gotcha.

Anonymous said...

Hasn't "Spartacus" Booker been campaigning for Espy ? Nuf said !

Anonymous said...

If Espy wins, I can honestly say that Mississippi has turned the corner and the state has made a lot of strides from its racists past.

If Espy loses, then its business as usual and people are not ready for a black person to serve in a leadership role for this state.

It's a great test for Mississippi.

Anonymous said...

I'm voting against who ever Trump and the GOP promote......If the GOP takes action to remove Trump, I'll return to the GOP.....

Anonymous said...

Espy loses. Period.

Kingfish said...

By all means let's talk about so-called Russian collusion. After we talk about Charlie Trie, Lippo Group, and the Chicoms walking out with our nuclear secrets after they funneled a large amount of money to the Clinton campaign. Then there is the rape of Juanita Broderick, Bill trying to kiss Wylie while she was crying over her husband's suicide. Not to mention the pathological attacks on every victim who dares to say anything. Sure you want to go down this path?

Anonymous said...

When Cory Booker came to town, that scared the hell out of me..........

Anonymous said...

920 - so, pleading (taking a deal) is not the same thing as being guilty in your book? Interesting concept. But whatever.

Major execs from major food producers/processors gave bribes to Espy. Admitted it (that's the pleading guolt, or as you call it, cutting a deal). Whatever you want to call it.
They admitted breaking the law with their gifts and receiving benefits from Espy while he was Secretary. In most people's book, that called bribery.

Hard to have multiple people guilty of GIVING bribes without somebody RECEIVING the bribes. Espy might not have been convicted, but hard to fathom how he didn't take the bribes including a scholarship for his girlfriend if the folks who wrote the checks admitted to giving them and paid the legal price of being found guilty.

Continue to proclaim his great service if you want, but don't think a DC jury not finding him guilty absolves him of his actions. And don't forget that midnight meeting in Holmes County where all the others went to jail - but him. Would suggest that his Teflon surface is good for him, but not necessarily for those around him

Anonymous said...

KF but that’s my point. People from both parties have done bad things. But it makes no sense to say a democratic politician can’t get my vote because he has no morals (when he was actually acquitted) as if republicans are morally superior. I’d rather people Be honest and say I’m not voting for him because he’s a democrat. What’s the point of having courts of law if accusations carry more weight than acquittals.

Anonymous said...

KF

I guess your conspiracy theories are what makes people click and make you money....but most people know 99% of the lies spewed about the clintons are false....meanwhile...trump uses those lies to inflict as much pain as he can on americans.....

do me a favor....start being an american

Anonymous said...

Donald Trump scares the hell out of me.

Anonymous said...

@11:37 - Hillary Clinton scares the hell out of me.

Anonymous said...

11:25 - Guess what? Most lies are false! But you can't name two falsehoods being spread regarding either or both Clintons.

Anonymous said...

... but most people know 99% of the lies spewed about the clintons are false ...

Since 99% are false some of the falsehoods as you see them.

Anonymous said...

One party is the party of Alex Jones( Glenn Beck 2.0) and QAnon and the other party is not. One party believes Hillary was a part of a child sex trafficking ring #pizzagate and the other relies on facts and not conspiracies. Our current president started the birther movement and said Tes Cruz’s Dad was involved in the assassination of JFK. . One party owns conspiracy theories and lies and the other owns the truth.

Anonymous said...

look at all these relics of the past traitors defending traitors, America will not survive under fake gop patriotism and the absolutely dumbfound stupidity of the gop voter...

Anonymous said...

The great Clinton Conspiracy boogey woman....thank God we may get some decent women in office this cycle to get all the corrupt white guys that have been voted in over the years out of there, they have absolutely decimated rural america, yet the stupid GOP voters can't see past race. Notice the clowns claiming Blacks will only vote for Espy as if Black Americans haven't been voting for white people since they got right to vote most of you are soooo full of crap...

Sho Nuff said...

It must be either one unemployed idiot liberal, or a paid shill posting the ignorance on this board. That is what is to be expected from that bigoted group. No one, I mean no one with an ounce of logical thinking would defend the Clinton cabal. With the twisted, warped thinking of the illogical indoctrinated, the above liberal view points are proudly displayed. Their arrogance is prominently put forth with no shame on their part. Spewing vitriolic bigoted accusations with no truthful foundations. Trump is the catalyst that puts their ignorant indoctrination on full display. Make America great again. trump 2020

Anonymous said...

Got to impose checks on Trump. So I like Mike.

Anonymous said...

Sho Nuff, you try so hard to sound intellectual, you make no sense. Sort of like the dishonest President you adore.

Anonymous said...

Read your Constitution. Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches and how each branch has checks and balances on each other. Before you retort illogically, do not get me started on DICtator Obama who can’t make two speeches without mentioning himself over 100 times. Healthcare is an obamanation...and was dying.

Anonymous said...
Got to impose checks on Trump. So I like Mike.

September 15, 2018 at 11:34 AM

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