Gonzales

Rating Change: Mississippi Senate Race No Longer Solid Republican

Hyde-Smith remains the favorite but some uncertainty has crept into the contest

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., faces former Democratic Rep. Mike Espy in the Nov. 27 special election runoff in Mississippi. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats are not on the cusp of winning a Senate seat in Mississippi. But if we learned anything over the last two years, it’s that Republicans find new ways to make special elections more close and exciting than they should be.

First of all, go read Stu Rothenberg’s column on the race and the dynamic. He does a good job of laying out the electoral challenge in front of former Democratic Rep. Mike Espy, even if appointed GOP Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith is not a stellar candidate.

My colleague Leah Askarinam offers a deep dive into the Nov. 27 runoff — from how the special election came about to the dynamics at play in the jungle primary earlier this month to all the latest developments — in the latest issue of Inside Elections

After reading both pieces, you should come to the conclusion that Hyde-Smith is likely to win this race. But because of the strange timing of the election (the Tuesday after Thanksgiving) and a lack of polling data on the race, there is enough uncertainty to change the rating from Solid Republican to Likely Republican.

Also Watch: Senate Republicans Talk Leadership Team and Special Counsel Protections

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