Hyde-Smith vs. Espy, or how the Republicans will support anyone in order to keep their seats
The special election on Tuesday in Mississippi is the last act in the theater of Republican desperation, where an openly segregationist candidate has mobilized the entire party, including the president.
Once the mid-term elections were over, the country lost interest in the electoral processes nationwide.
But in Mississippi, a race has once again shown the worst facet of the Republican Party.
We’re talking about the special elections for a seat in the Senate disputed between Democrat Mike Espy and Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith, who has given much to talk about in recent weeks.
In a historically Republican territory, Hyde-Smith's victory was taken for granted, until the candidate resorted to a rhetoric that went beyond the limits of tolerance, even in the Deep South.
In the middle of November, Hyde-Smith declared with laughter that "if they invited me to a public hanging, I would be in the front row"; she appeared in photos dating from 2014 showing Confederate artifacts with a caption that read "Mississippi history at its best!” and suggested preventing some liberals from voting.
These comments cost her the support of national companies such as Walmart and generated an arduous criticism of her campaign since she is a white candidate making use of a painful, racist historical past to win votes among rural whites.
While the state has a deeply Republican background - it has not voted for a Democratic president since Jimmy Carter in 1976, nor for a Democratic senator since John Stennis in 1982, CNN recalls - the most important symptom of the electoral reality in Mississippi has been the low voter participation.
"Mississippi’s redness showed no sign of abating when voters went to the polls earlier this month," the media continues. "Republicans Hyde-Smith and Chris McDaniel combined for 58% of the votes in the jungle primary, while Democrats Tobey Bartee and Espy combined for 42%."
Hyde-Smith tried to do damage control during the Nov. 20 debate, attempting to apologize while saying: "for anyone that was offended by my comments, I certainly apologize," the candidate said, according to TIME. "There was no ill will, no intent whatsoever in my statements."
Still, the Republican desperation has reached the point of not holding back to ensure Hyde-Smith’s victory.
Even President Trump, who has become the secret weapon of the party, has planned two rallies on Monday in Mississippi to ensure that the Republican candidate is elected on Tuesday.
The concern of the GOP is not unfounded. After all, last year its base suffered a major loss in Alabama when Roy Moore lost to Democrat Doug Jones following several pedophilia accusations.
Henry Barbour, a member of the Republican National Committee with experience in the region, told Politico that, even though the voters of both bases are energized, the victory of Hyde-Smith is practically assured.
"We don’t want to have an Alabama," he said.
When it comes to winning seats, the GOP has proven once again that it does not hesitate to support racism, sexual harassment or any other facet, however controversial it may be.