JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Mike Espy spent much of Labor Day handing out food boxes to Jackson neighbors, keeping up with a string of public and online appearances.
While Republican U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith is keeping a low profile and handling business in Washington, D.C., she hasn’t held any public campaign events so far.
Labor Day marks the sprint to the finish line, and traditionally, campaigns ramp up at this point. With the COVID-19 pandemic, campaigns are going about it in different ways.
“We’re engaging the voters, just trying to make sure they understand that we’re running and that we care about their issues,” explained Espy.
He held the first outdoors social distancing rally last week. He said healthcare, education and getting the country back on track is the top bill for Mississippi voters. Espy also said Sen. Hyde-Smith is sitting on her hands.
“We’re doing these things just to try to drum up enthusiasm. But then you look at what my opponent is doing, and you have to let me know, because I don’t think she’s doing anything. She’s the senator and not engaging the voters and not engaging the constituents.”
Sen. Hyde-Smith spent Labor Day in South Mississippi. Republican political strategist Henry Barbour believes even with Espy’s effort to ramp things up and with eight weeks out until the November election, Sen. Hyde-Smith remains a clear favorite.
“Well, the expectation is that she’s going to win, and she’ll win re-election just as she did two years ago against the same candidate, Mike Espy,” stated Barbour.
He said issues Mississippians care about will be on the ballot in the fall.
“I think she needs to remind voters this election this fall is a choice between liberal and conservative leadership in the U.S. Senate when it comes to issues like jobs, or the Green New Deal, that AOC (Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) prefers or open boarders.”
Despite Sen. Hyde-Smith not holding campaign events, Barbour said Republicans have the edge.
“Republicans, nationally with volunteers, are knocking on one million doors a week, where as Democrats are knocking on zero.”
Espy said he’s going to get some of those votes. “We’re going to receive the votes of a lot of Republicans. We’ve done polling that shows that’s also the case,” he stated.
The match-up on November 3 will be a rematch of 2018’s special election.
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