Projection: Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith has defeated Democrat Mike Espy in the runoff election for U.S. Senate in Mississippi. The election was held to fill the seat vacated by Republican Senator Thad Cochran, who retired earlier this year for health reasons.
In the Magnolia State, if neither candidate wins an outright majority on Election Day, then the top two vote-getters advance to a runoff. Below are the results from the first round of voting, clearly helping to underscore why the Republican was favored to win by the PPD U.S. Senate Election Projection Model.
|887,368 votes, 98% reporting (1,753 of 1,797 precincts)
President Donald Trump visited the state on Monday to hold two rallies for Senator Hyde-Smith, who was appointed to the U.S. Senate this year. The first rally was held in Biloxi, located in Harrison County in the southeastern region of the state. Harrison went for the Republican candidate by roughly 20 points.
The second rally was in Tupelo, located in Lee County in the northeastern region of the state. It proved a Republican stronghold, backing the president’s pick with more than 67% of the vote.
It was the first time the president has ever held two rallies in one day or night for one candidate. President Trump and Republican Governor Phil Bryant both remain extremely popular in the state.
|872,993 votes, 99% reporting (1,774 of 1,797 precincts)
Despite the overwhelming Republican advantage in Mississippi, Ms. Hyde-Smith had a rough close to the campaign. A series of remarks were widely condemned as racially insensitive and led Democrats to believe that they might have a chance to defeat her in an upset.
Mr. Espy, a former congressman who served as the secretary of agriculture in the early Clinton Administration from 1993 to 1994, tried to seize on them and on Republican division. However, Chris McDaniel, who won 16.5% of the primary vote earlier this month, endorsed her in the general election.
With the last contest of the 2018 midterm elections wrapped up, the Republican majority in the U.S. Senate expands to 53 seats, the margin projected by the PPD U.S. Senate Election Projection Model.