Dems Eye Pickup Opportunity in Mississippi

In pro-Trump Mississippi, Democrats will have one final chance this month to cut into Republicans’ Senate majority.

Democratic former Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy aims to upset Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith in the Nov. 27 Senate special election runoff. Hyde-Smith, who was appointed to replace retired GOP Sen. Thad Cochran earlier this year, hopes to serve the remainder of her predecessor’s term through 2020.

The Mississippi race will not swing control of the Senate on its own. With at least three projected pickups of Democratic seats in last week’s election, the GOP will hold its majority in the chamber. However, an Espy shocker would give Republicans one fewer vote in a chamber that has seen its share of razor-thin votes since President Donald Trump took office in January 2017.

An Espy upset would make it a little tougher for the GOP to push through Trump’s conservative judicial nominees or approve the president’s economic agenda. Still, the Republican Party has had few problems reaching its goals with a narrow Senate majority — with repeal of the Affordable Care Act a notable exception.