Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Sid Salter: Senate Runoff Takes National Flavour

 As it happened on Nov. 6, the pollsters on both sides were uncannily accurate in their predictions that Republican U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith and Democratic challenger Mike Espy would run a close first and second in the open primary and leave Republican challenger Chris McDaniel a distant third with Democrat Tobey Bartee bringing up the rear.

 That’s how it happened. Hyde-Smith led with 368,536 or 41.5 percent of the vote with Espy close behind at 360,112 or 40.6 percent with 98 percent of the state’s precincts reporting on Nov. 11. McDaniel trailed with 146,013 or 16.5 percent and Bartee polled 12,707 or 1.4 percent.

Perhaps the two most surprising elements of the state’s so-called “jungle primary” special Senate election came at the end of it, when McDaniel delivered a rather quick and gracious concession speech and a subsequent pledge to generally work to unify the Mississippi GOP and to specifically support the election of Hyde-Smith as the GOP nominee against Democrat Espy.

McDaniel’s post-election comments were civil, upbeat and unequivocal: “We now have to unite. Mr. Espy cannot be allowed to win this seat,” McDaniel said. “President (Donald) Trump wants us to unite. We will unite and we will back Cindy Hyde-Smith.”

I rather doubt that Mississippi voters have heard the last from state Sen. McDaniel. His ability to read the political tea leaves (pun slightly intended) were remarkable in his race – but I’ll return to that point in a few paragraphs.
Regardless, McDaniel’s endorsement of Hyde-Smith’s runoff campaign positions the Nov. 27 runoff as little more than a referendum on the two major national parties – a Republican Party that has dominated statewide politics here since the early 1990s and a Democratic Party that hasn’t held a U.S. Senate seat in Mississippi since U.S. Sen. John C. Stennis finished his final term on Jan. 3, 1989.

A look back to 2016 confirms that Mississippi voters chose Trump over Democrat Hillary Clinton by a margin of 57.86 percent to 40.06 percent after Trump easily dispatched Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio in the state’s GOP primary while Clinton took 82 percent plus in drubbing Vermont socialist Bernie Sanders in the state’s Democratic Primary.
For state Republicans seeking to attack Democrats, the usual targets remain available – Clinton, former President Barack Obama, Sanders, U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer and likely House Speaker U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi.

Democrats, as seen during the midterm elections, have focused their attacks almost exclusively on the flamboyant and fiercely outspoken Trump. That’s likely to continue in Mississippi Special Election runoff between Hyde-Smith and Espy.

In his 2018 concession speech, McDaniel aptly referenced the Trump endorsement of Hyde-Smith and his Oct. 2 appearance supporting her at a huge Southaven rally was a turning point in his campaign. “When President Trump endorsed Cindy Hyde-Smith, we knew then we had a full plate. We understood that,” McDaniel said.

Espy’s best chance at winning this election always rode on the notion that a massive, historic voter turnout transpired on Nov. 6. He got that massive turnout, but it wasn’t enough for an outright majority.

Expect to see national players enter the runoff fray on both sides. But since outright control of the U.S. Senate isn’t on the table in Mississippi on Nov. 27, it won’t be an overwhelming national effort.

Political theatrics, ominous radio ads, social media manipulation, TV ads and robo-calls aside, the one issue that Mississippi voters may well weigh more carefully in the runoff is something Hyde-Smith already has on her resume – seats on the U.S. Senate Appropriations and Agriculture committees with a seniority head-start and as part of the Senate’s majority party.

Between Hyde-Smith’s and McDaniel’s combined Nov. 6 vote, 514,549 state voters or 58 percent of those who voted in that election have already taken a pass on the Espy campaign. That one statistic paints an honest picture of the challenge before him in the runoff.

Sid Salter is a syndicated columnist. Contact him at


Anonymous said...

It doesn't help to be on the appropriations committee if you don't have the gravitas or respect of other senators to influence the outcome.

And, in D.C. hoof and mouth disease is a curse for a female.

CHS is no Nicky Haley.

For those who do the actual work in Congress and government on both sides of the aisle, fatigue with cleaning up the "dumps" of incompetence and extracting feet from mouths is high. And, they wish those in PACS and talking heads who fancy themselves as political geniuses would go broke and have their vocal chords cut.

But, sadly voters believe those you elect actually write legislation and know how to implement policy, understand the law and have useful ideas. If it weren't for staff and agency employees, it'd be like having the guy who sold you the car, having to suddenly be the mechanic.

Anonymous said...

Cindy Hyde Smith may have shot her self in the foot with her commits about public hangings!!!! I voted for Cindy last time, and I will vote for her again, but she has back her self in a corner and made Mississippi look bad once again. She better get ready for the 20th debate, cause I'm sure she will get hammered by the people posing the questions, and Epsy will be on the top of his game!!! We will find out November 7!!!

Anonymous said...

Espy is a corrupt, liberal, Morgan and Morgan hack who was run out of Washington before for taking bribes. He should be in federal prison instead of running.

Anonymous said...

CHS just lost this race, or in the very least made it closer than it had to be --- really, in 2018 who makes comments like these (except for maybe a hick from MS)?

She could've won this race quietly, but she had to open her stupid yap and confirm every stereotype folks have about Mississippi.

Thanks Cindy!

Sid's System of Senseless Summary.. said...

Tell us something we don't know. I recommend all of Salter's future columns should simply be titled, "In Summary", since all he ever does is summarize the well-known. And anybody who doesn't already know what he is presenting in these columns is not going to read them anyway.

The alarming reality of it all is that he gets paid for summarizing.

Anonymous said...

So with that comment--she's either..

1-Racist to the core. With the hundreds of reported hangings of African-Americans in our state, she was advocating the continuation of this practice.

2-Dumb as a bag of hammers. That's a really strange thing to say--why would someone who's going to go to the Senate make such a stupid remark?

SO--in order to actually gain power in DC, you have to be willing to reach across the aisle for support. Give and take. She will vote straight "R"--but since she will never not vote "R", she's never going to get something.

Thad, Trent...they knew how to play the game...

She will win-but is this really the best we can do?

Anonymous said...

Is Sad Salter British? Flavor vs Flavour?

My spellcheck caught it. Is he having tea and crumpets up there in his ivory tower at Mississippi's preeminent public university?

Anonymous said...

8:59, CHS is a corrupt loser who will sell Mississippi out to the first bidder. The citizens of Mississippi are smarter than to elect a dumb fake farmer just because a loser with a bad haircut is talking scary about the minority invaders.

Anonymous said...

National news and all over social media now...maybe we can say cindy is suffering from "foot in mouth disease" or "Mad Cow"....what did trump tell that reporter "What a stupid question" well what a stupid comment coming from an acting US Senator even worse coming from one from MS.....cindy is way out of her league and the GOP big wigs no it...can't tell those southern shit kickers anything though is the mood....atleast espy has Agricultural Gov't experience in Washington.

Really low bar for white gop politicians in this backward state.

Anonymous said...

Racisss!!! Racisss!!! Racisss!!!

Y'all are funny. Smith is dumb, but she's not a racist like the liberals are trying to make her out to be.

The one to blame in all this is Governor Phil "Lockjaw" Bryant. Or, more directly since he does all the scheming... I mean, thinking... for the guvnah: Joshua Gregory.

Say, who is Smith using as a political consultant anyway? And when did that start? Coincidences are weird sometimes, aren't they?

Anonymous said...

Espy know more about agriculture than Hyde/Smith could ever dream to know.

Espy was acquitted....should never have been charged.

Espy made the Jackson Morgan office profitable by himself.

Espy is the better candidate for Mississippi.

Anonymous said...

Ill be voting for CHS, no way I could vote for someone who should be in prison. Espy is to corrupt for even Bill Clinton. I'd vote for any democrat over him as well. Like her or not, CHS will rise on top.

Anonymous said...

@ 3:10 you wouldn't vote for crap except for whatever low brow shit kicker the gop trots people should stop all that talk...

For the record Espy was accused of something that he was obviously not convicted/guilty of...still holds his law license...and is probably more prosperous in life than your miserable self.

Anonymous said...

The candidate closest to the corrupt Barbour Klan? Mike Espy.


Anonymous said...

2:43; Let me advise you that the Dyson execs would not have admitted to gifting Espy and their employees would not have been convicted had it not been true. That he was acquitted was a miscarriage of Justice, as was the situation with your boy O.J.

I heard the gubnor on Gallo this morning, carrying on about racism and screeching in her defense. I'm not sure which of them is the more dumb....or dumber.

In summary (Salter here), she meant nothing by the remark and is dumb as a damned stump in a pasture.

Anonymous said...

God please let these folks know it's really serious now, we all love em but this attack on CNN, showing a tape that was speed up. Letting Melinda oust a national security advisor because she felt slighted. We have to stop this before the crash, open your Eyes my fellow Mississippi before it's too late.

Anonymous said...

Mike Espy is the most like Thad Cochran. He is intelligent and he will represent the interests of this state and will not be a rubber stamp. Cindy is further right wing than McDaniel.

Anonymous said...

Dont know about others but I watched a lot of western movies and cowboy shows on TV and they often had public hangings in the middle of town where young and old watched. To my knowledge I never saw anyone except white men getting hung.
Democrats are pretty nasty, they will find anything to try and destroy someone who doesn't run lockstep with them. I will be surprised if this craziness doesn't galvanized her vote. What are people saying about the crazy hawaiian congresswoman that blamed white men for the Supreme Court nominee. I will tell you, not a word. My observations are that those who vote Republican for the most part try to treat all citizens as individuals without compartmentalizing people by their race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. like the Democrats. While I try to live my life treating everyone equally, it is getting harder and harder to do such. I think a lot of people feel the same way.

Anonymous said...

The choice is clear.

Espy, under his buddy Bill Clinton, was taking bribes during his days in DC from Tyson Foods and others. He had a government owned Jeep Cherokee at the Airport in Jackson for his personal use that just sat there waiting for him whenever he came to town.

When he was accused of bribery by the NY Post, He "Resigned his government post to come home and clear his good name." Sounds good, but more truthful would be for him to say, if convicted he would become a federal felon, so it was time to shuck and jive until he slipped past the charges. According to the Post, he was acquitted and Tyson pleaded guilty to providing him with bribes.

Can anyone tell me why Tyson pled guilty if it didn't happen?

Espy is no more than a crook who slipped through the justice system. Oh I forgot - we need to elect him to a better gig than he ever had as Sec of Agriculture.

Espy? I say Bull Shit.

Pappy Odaniel said...

Mississippi is not far away from Democrat control. Republicans are on their 4th generation of coat-tail riding state level candidates and there is simply no bench left. I guess unless you count Whit Hughes but I’m sure they’ll figure something else out for him. A smaller and smaller group of people want tighter and tighter control of the party and meanwhile the Democrat Party is building a cabal of the usual suspects that are going to flip this state blue. And the country club Republicans will only have themselves to blame. It’s easier to become a mason than participate in the Republican Party...other than of course doing as your told and voting for the ordained candidate.

Anonymous said...

Barbour whispers into Espy's ear.

Time to hitch-up your britches boy, "we're paying you now".

Anonymous said...

If they knew how much you protect them Kingfisher.They would probably elect you Governor!

Anonymous said...

Someone please wake me up when we don’t have to be subjected to any more of Sid’s “stating the obvious” articles.

Anonymous said...

6:05 Fortunately some of us learned history, especially Mississippi history, from sources other than "a lot of western movies and cowboy shows on TV". The public hangings in Mississippi were usually of Black people and they were not make believe or some kind of joke as you and the idiot running for senator seem to think (Think?) This nut will obviously do wonders for the image of this state which could't be much worse already. But maybe we like it that way. Damn!

Anonymous said...

The sad part of this is that once again, a large portion of good people in the state know that they will have a senator who is supposed to represent them but doesn't care in the least.

If she did care, she wouldn't have said that without considering their thoughts or even acknowledging that she messed up after the fact. How hard is it to say you screwed up, apologize, and be done with it?

Her lack of respect may have gotten her the Trump approval, but that is a fad. Being an asshole is not the way to move forward and she will find that out sooner or later.

Anonymous said...

I agree Poppy. As the Rankin County Cliq tightens, their bench grows shorter. Pretty bad when CHS is who you run for senator and Tate is who you have to run for governor. Whit probably won’t win favor with the mafia because he is not one of them. I am sure they are trying to get Harkins ready.

Thad Cochran WAS a rubber stamp said...

Both of these comments are laughable.

Mike Espy is the most like Thad Cochran. He is intelligent and he will represent the interests of this state and will not be a rubber stamp. Cindy is further right wing than McDaniel.

Then Pappy:

Mississippi is not far away from Democrat control. ..... the Democrat Party is building a cabal of the usual suspects that are going to flip this state blue.

Anonymous said...

Can you believe it a foreigner ask me for my ID when i bought my cereal this morning

Anonymous said...

@6:05, are you serious? You think CHS was drawing on a cowboy movie for her public hanging remark? Idiots like you will get her elected, and you deserve each other.

Anonymous said...

JIM PRINCE, owner of Madison County Journal, posted a poor taste editorial today in his crap newspaper, Madison County Journal. I find his remarks about Mike Espy inflammatory and in poor taste. For decades this paper has based reporting on everything but the truth. Let’s all drop our subscription from this worthless paper.

Anonymous said...

What is inaccurate 8:32 about the editorial on Shady Espy?

Anonymous said...

@8:03 and you are convinced that she was referring to watching a black getting
hung? If so without any further evidence or past behavior from chs, I would say you might be the idiot for jumping to such a conclusion.

Anonymous said...

Who reads that little rag anyway.

Anonymous said...

I am convinced that CHS never considered how the black population would feel about her remarks. She showed a great disrespect by not acknowledging why people are pissed and at the minimum offering an apology for being an idiot. She is an a-hole just like Trump, just as ugly inside as she is out.

Poor Taste? NOT said...

We subscribe to The Journal and will continue. Lots of Madison area news. Cancelled the Clarion when it went almost to $60 a month. I read the article referenced and not one word of it is inaccurate. 8:32 just belongs to the camp that would rather that information not be provided.

Anonymous said...

@ 8:55, I do not know what thoughts were in her small mind. The problem is that she is not sharp enough to realize her comment could be construed as rascist. The fact that you have to defend her makes my point.

Anonymous said...

It's the notion that she'd think of going to a public execution of any kind for anyone spontaneously and think it " cute" that worries me.

Would, " Why I'd go see to a public ( insert any form of killing a human for any reason) for this guy" seem clever or amusing to y'all ?

If she channeled here great grandmother, she should have just been mortified and made clear she understood why she shouldn't have said such a thing.

Anonymous said...

In no way, shape or form am I about to state anything positive about lynchings. They were / are despicable acts and they should have been / should be condemned in the strongest possible terms.

That being said, and knowing that lynchings have actually occurred in this country, let's look at some statistics: From 1882-1968, 4,743 lynchings occurred in the United States. Of the people who were lynched, 3,446 were black (73%), and 1,297 were white (27%). With those numbers in mind, and since CHS made no mention whatsoever of either race or of a lynching (by its very definition, a lynching is a PRIVATE, not a PUBLIC, hanging), couldn't I just as easily feign as much outrage as CHS' opponents and claim that, had she actually been referring to lynchings in her comments, she was referring to the 27% population above?

Yeah, I know for me to take a position like that would be a HUGE, outrageous, unreasonable reach......about the same as those who are claiming CHS' remarks were racially insensitive! They all KNOW her remarks didn't even approach race, and were certainly not referring to lynchings, but when you're likely to lose a senate race as badly as Espy is going to, you just have to give it every try you can. That's all this is, and everyone knows it.

Anonymous said...

@10:35am for one thing what the hell does Espy have to do with the scum back CMU commissioners offerering to knock off anyone? JIM PRINCE IS A LIAR. YOU PROBABLY ARE JIM PRINCE.

Anonymous said...

4:25...accuracy could be your best friend. Honesty too, if you tried either. Nothing in her remarks mentioned or insinuated 'lynchings'. There's a broad difference between 'lynchings' and 'public hangings'. But accurately portraying her remarks accurately would not suit your motive, would it?

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