Now that the U.S. senate run-off race is over, the state Republican and Democratic parties are assessing the race and looking forward to 2019. MPB's Desare Frazier reports.
Mississippi Republican Party chair Lucien Smith says the U.S. Senate runoff proved not to be as tight as expected. He says they figured Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith would win by 8 or 9 points. She beat Democrat Mike Espy 53 percent to 46 percent. Smith talked about campaigning before the November 6, special election through the runoff.
"We had built at the Mississippi Republican Party over the course of the last 3 or 4 months the largest data driven get out the vote program that we've ever had. We made over a million and half voter contacts between August 1, and the runoff elections. Six-hundred thousand and change were made after the runoff election," said Moak.
He says Hyde-Smith's remarks about a public hanging, voter suppression, along with her pictured in confederate regalia did effect her campaign. But he says Hyde-Smith is up to the task of proving she'll represent all Mississippians. Lucien Smith says President Donald Trump's visit to the state reminded people to vote. Democratic Party chair Bobby Moak says Trump's visit was about saving the election.
"You have to bring in the President of the United States, one of the top members of the U.S. Senate and the vice president just to save this election, something is going on and I think that portends a good election year for Democrats in 2019," said Moak.
Moak says Trump also energized Democrats to vote. He says Espy's 46 percent showing in the runoff is the highest percentage rate Democrats have achieved in a recent federal election. Moak says they'll use their grassroots strategies moving forward into next year's state races.