Nate Jackson / Nov. 28, 2018

The Race in Mississippi Was All About Race

Democrat race-baiters intent on division tried to paint Cindy Hyde-Smith as a racist.

“That’s racist!” Oh how tiresome is the charge leftists make virtually every day against a Republican somewhere. The slandered person this time is GOP Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, who yesterday won her runoff to become the first elected female senator from Mississippi. Gov. Phil Bryant appointed her to the seat earlier this year to replace Thad Cochran. Leftmedia outlets teased 24/7 that the race would be close primarily because of contrived racial controversy, but Hyde-Smith ended up defeating Democrat and former Clinton Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy 54-46. Unwilling to let the narrative go easily, Twitter headlined that she “narrowly” won. We suppose it’s “narrow” compared to Donald Trump’s 18-point win in 2016…

Significantly, of course, Hyde-Smith’s win provides Senate Republicans with a majority of 53 seats, and thus a more comfortable cushion for anything from confirming President Trump’s judicial nominees to advancing conservative legislation to blocking Nancy Pelosi’s House legislative agenda. As we argued the day after the midterms, GOP gains in the Senate were driven mainly by voter concern over the judiciary in the wake of Democrats’ horrendous treatment of Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Speaking of horrendous treatment, that brings us back to the big issue in this race — race. The Washington Post called it a “racially charged election.” But why was that the case? Because Democrats injected race into the mix. Blacks make up 37% of Mississippi’s population, the highest of any state, and Espy would have been the first black senator to represent the state since Reconstruction. Thus, any apparent gaffe made by Hyde-Smith — from innocuous comments about a public hanging to donning a Confederate uniform cap at a tourism appearance — turned into a scandal supposedly proving her racism, all to motivate black voters. As it turns out, however, some of the “evidence” of racism and hate in Mississippi came in the form of nooses left hanging from trees near the state capitol … by Democrat protesters.

None of this is to say Hyde-Smith was a particularly strong candidate — she wasn’t. But it is to say, as Erick Erickson notes, “2020 is going to be the nastiest campaign season we have ever seen because the Democrats will look at Georgia, Mississippi, Florida and elsewhere and conclude they must amplify, sustain, and magnify their accusations of racism to suppress some voters while driving up the turn out of others.”

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