Mississippi voters voted Tuesday in the Senate's second election, ending the Senate's final election of the 2018 season.
Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith and her Democratic opponent Mike Espy are fighting over the siege in a deep red state where President Donald Trump garnered nearly 58% of the vote in 2016.
The stakes are high. If Espy, former Congressman and former Clinton administration member, became the first elected Democratic Senator from Mississippi since 1972.
Hyde-Smith, former state agriculture and commerce commissioner, appointed to the Senate seat in March after Senator Thad Cochran's resignation, has favored the victory despite recent criticism that 39 she received after telling a partisan that she would attend a "public hanging". if invited.
This remark evokes the Mississippi's history of racism, lynching, and Jim Crow laws – and has brought a handful of companies to withdraw their support for the Hyde-Smith campaign. She apologized for the comment.
Espy sought to profit from the repercussions of Hyde-Smith's mistakes, as well as subsequent revelations that his Republican opponent had attended a "segregation academy" and celebrated Confederation.
But he too faces significant headwinds on the Washington road.
An assessment of FiveThirtyEight says that Espy would need an unprecedented swing to win Tuesday night.
Some Democrats have let Espy hope. Runoff in Mississippi vaguely resembles the December 2017 special election in neighboring Alabama, where voters chose Democrat Doug Jones at the expense of Republican Roy Moore, whose campaign is being crushed under the weight of A scandal of sexual misconduct.
This election gave Alabama its first Democratic senator in more than two decades.
This story will be updated as the results come in.