Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Sid Salter: Stretch Runs in Senate Races Winding Down to What Seems Predictable Finishes

As the Nov. 6 general election looms less than two week away in Mississippi, the fabled “stretch run” for the campaigns is underway. The campaign finance reports have revealed their last real secrets until after the campaigns are completed.

The major television buys have been made and scheduled. The ground game, at least the part that shows, has been deployed. Polling has, for the most part, been completed. Now, the voters will be called upon to render their judgment.

Mississippi voters will elect two U.S. senators in the 2018 elections. There is a highly partisan regular election Class I Senate seat up for grabs for a full six-year term to run from 2019 to 2025. Then there’s a non-partisan (in name only) special election Class II Senate seat being contested for a partial term that will end in 2021.

As noted before in this column, the Class I and Class II business isn’t a distinction between the rank or effectiveness of the two U.S. Senate seats, but has to do with the fact that the 100-member legislative body is divided into three classes of 33 or 34 each based on when they are up for re-election – with Class I members having terms ending in 2019 while Class II members have terms ending in 2021 and Class III members in 2023.

Mississippi’s incumbent Class I U.S. senator is incumbent Republican Sen. Roger Wicker of Tupelo who faces Democratic nominee State Rep. David Baria of Bay St. Louis, along with Libertarian Party nominee retired U.S. Navy diver Danny Bedwell of Columbus and Reform Party nominee and perennial candidate Shawn O’Hara of Hattiesburg. Wicker is a prohibitive favorite to win re-election.

Mississippi’s Class II U.S. senator is Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith of Brookhaven, appointed by Gov. Phil Bryant to fill the unexpired term of former U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran, who stepped down from the post in April.

Challenging Hyde-Smith in the nonpartisan special election for the right to complete Cochran’s term is former municipal candidate Tobey Bartee of Gautier, former Democratic U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and former congressman Mike Espy of Madison, attorney and veteran Republican State Sen. Chris McDaniel of Ellisville (who lost a bruising 2014 GOP primary to Cochran).

To win, one of the four contenders must take 50 percent plus one vote to claim outright victory on Nov. 6. In this fiercely competitive race, partisans on either side of the aisle have long seen this race coming down to a runoff between the top two finishers on Nov. 27.

Given the fact that the state’s four congressional races aren’t particularly competitive and that judicial races in most parts of the state aren’t particularly engaging, voter turnout remains a concern. Why? Because partisan voter intensity is usually a deciding factor in most campaigns.

From 1980 to the present, Mississippi has voted Republican in presidential politics. Since 1996, Mississippi has voted Republican in presidential politics by an average of 55.6 percent and Democratic by an average 42.2 percent — with the rest of the vote scattered among third party or independent candidates.

For Espy, his best chance at victory would be to win it all on Nov. 6 while GOP voters are split between Hyde-Smith and McDaniel. For the math to work on that, Espy would need a truly massive and historic voter turnout. Neither Barack Obama nor Bill Clinton, the top two Democratic presidential contenders in modern Mississippi history, cracked 45 percent of the vote in this state.

Among Republicans, incumbent Hyde-Smith has consistently led in polling based in great measure on the active support of President Donald Trump, Gov. Phil Bryant, and superior resources. In the Class II race, the predicted Nov. 27 runoff is where the state’s conventional political wisdom gets truly tested.

Sid Salter is a syndicated columnist. Contact him at


Anonymous said...

Sid easily cut and pasted 85% of this from his earlier drones.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Can I sit on the edge of my bed in my boxers and be a syndicated columnist?

Anonymous said...

The question is: Will McDaniel pull a "Trump" out of his hat and unseat Hyde-Smith and go on to defeat Espy in the run-off? Who knows. However, if the last Presidential election taught us anything, it is to NOT trust the polls and the media predictions.

Everybody needs to get out and vote.

Anonymous said...

@9:04 You are already half-way there...

Anonymous said...

10:11 it's not so much a question of 'trusting' the polls but rather understanding them and paying attention to what they actually say. In 2016, the states that Trump won that swung the election - against what the media told us was going to happen - largely the five midwestern states and FL were all within the margin or error. The poll results show ed d HRC would win each state, but only by a percentage that was,within what the poll indicated was the potential range.

The media assumed HRC would win each state because the poll indicated she would win it - but paid no attention to the fact that DJT could win the state based on the poll results. And DJT ran the table and won all those that he was within the margin or error.

The problem was not so much the polls but the media who 'interpreted' the results in their one-sided view without considering any other possibilities.

Thank goodness in our 2018 race we don't face that problem with the crazy McDaniel. The poll results do not have him in the same hemisphere of the leaders so it's not a case of being within a margin of error.

If you need confirmation of McDaniel's hope for scoring, check his spending records. He started the campaign by loaning himself $55,000. And that has remained untouched. If he thought he had a chance of making the runoff he would be spending whatever he had available; but if he acknowledges that he has no chance i'll bet that $55k remains untouched so he can return it to himself on Nov 7th.

Anonymous said...

10:45 Swing BOTH legs off?

Anonymous said...

There is a real possibility that Cindy Hyde-Smith will not make the runoff. Both McDaniel and Espy have very visible campaigns all over the state but Cindy does not and her appearances are very poorly organized. I think Cindy and McDaniel are within a few points of each other and almost anything could tip it to McDaniel.

Anonymous said...

In 2016, the states that Trump won that swung the election - against what the media told us was going to happen - largely the five midwestern states and FL were all within the margin or error.


Anonymous said...

7:38 - certified election returns vs published polls for each state. Been well documented, cussed and discussed ad nauseum. Look it up yourself.

Anonymous said...


Nate Silver (538) piece written this month discussing the accuracy of polling, pointing out the 2016 problem that all the statewide polls were off -,in the same (HRC) direction. Real Clear Politics analysis written week after 2016 election pointing out specifix statewide polls that over-estimated turnout in HRC favor; an example showing Clinton to win PA with 3.5% while Trump won with 1.2% - within the MOE of the poll, but like all others was skewed in the same direction. Pew Research study done Nov 2016 with similar findings. Easy research to find

Anonymous said...

"Easy research to find" but none of you can provide a link to prop up your opinion. LMAO

Anonymous said...

Over-estimating turnout has NOTHING to do with MOE.

Anonymous said...

Folks the last election was about who didn't vote! Not who voted. This election is going to be about that too. The current administration has entegized the Dems and Independents. The question is who outnumbers who on Election day.

Anonymous said...

4:43 - That's always the case. Tell us something we DON'T already know.

Anonymous said...

9:33, I'll try to talk reeeeeaaaaal slllloooooww so maybe you can follow.

Those articles focused on more than one issue in their dissection of the election. They noted that most every pollsterling used a flawed model about turnout.

They also noted the final polls all that pointed in Clinton's direction, due to their improper estimation of the voter turnout. And despite comment above, the unusual heavy turnout of a silent block for Trump.

The result was that in many states, Clinton was projected the winner by 2, 3 or 4 percent. In those states, Trump actually won by half, or one percent. With a poll having a MOE of 4.9% say, then the actual result was within the MOE but in each state it was,with a different winner than projected.

Got it now? Two different concepts in the same articles. Did not equate one as the other.

Anonymous said...

@ "LMAO 9:33" Never did your own homework in school either, did you?

Anonymous said...

All these articles and nobody can provide a link. LOL

Anonymous said...

1102, try Google if you are really interested. Frankly, I'm not sure you could understand if it was laid out with children's building blocks in front of you.

It's called - look it up for yourself, something you must consider a new concept since you only know how to do is click on a link.

Anonymous said...

Its okay 1:30 that you don't understand that the onus is on you. You're just another bullshitter until you back up your garbage. I knew you were too lazy from the outset and easily played.

Anonymous said...

Now we learn that Hyde-Smith is afraid of debating McDaniel. Who is really surprised?

Anonymous said...

Here is a great interview of McDaniel by Mark Levin.

Full disclosure. I voted for McDaniel yesterday.

Anonymous said...

It's about Obamacare and pre existing conditions stupid.

Anonymous said...

Coverage of pre-existing conditions is not insurance. It is welfare.

Anonymous said...

2:04 - what you fail to understand is that I don't give a rats ass whether your egotistical anonymous opinion thinks I have to back up my comments or not. If u were having a friendly discussion over a drink I would be glad to expound further. If I weremember proposing this as part of a,Masters thesis with footnotes and a Bibliography, I would document each and everything I said.

However in the case at hand I made a comment based on my reading and studying of the post election analysis from two years ago. If you don't believe it is accurate - so be it. If you want to challenge it, go right ahead and provide your basis. But if you want things spoon fed into your ignorant mouth you are in the wrong place.

You claim - because you say so and you obviously are the arbiter of all that exists, blogging and otherwise, that 'the onus is on me'. Well, just so you understand, there is no onus on me to do diddly-squat - especially if it is just to satisfy your cocky ass. Frankly, I don't care where you place the 'onus' - although I would suggest you use the onus as an enema and cram that onus up your anus so that it might relieve your body of some of that cap you are so full of.

Anonymous said...

You rose to the bait again! LMAO

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Sid is going to write about these Trumpnuts that are on the loose?

Anonymous said...

@1:24 PM

Are you referring to Cindy "Votes with Trump 100%" Hyde-Smith?

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

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Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

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If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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