Washington Post columnist George Will penned an article Wednesday that slightly glimmers a win for Democrat U.S. Senate candidate Mike Espy.
The article “How a Democrat could finagle a win in Mississippi” touches on Espy’s past, his family, and how he could pull a win in November.
Espy is running against appointed U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith and state Senator Chris McDaniel in November for retired U.S. Senator Thad Cochran’s seat.
Will said Espy has a certain “math” that could help get funding, but there are many “ifs”:
Assume that he wins 95 percent of the African-American turnout. If that turnout is 33 percent of the total state turnout, as it was in 2016 when Hillary Clinton expended no resources on Mississippi, he needs 28 percent of the remaining vote. If African-American turnout is 35 percent — the African-American portion of the state’s registered electorate — he would need 26 percent of the other votes. If African-American turnout mirrors the African-American portion of the state’s population (37 percent), he needs to receive 24 percent of the remaining vote. If the African-American turnout is 39 percent of the total, a surge in turnout similar to what occurred in the Alabama special Senate election won by Democrat Doug Jones, Espy will need just 22 percent of the remaining vote. He won 12 percent of the white vote in his first congressional election, 40 percent in his third.
Will also discussed the demographics of Mississippi compared to surrounding states:
Because it has the highest percentage of African-Americans among the 11 formerly Confederate states, Mississippi is demographically more favorable for Democrats than Alabama (26 percent). But Alabama’s African-American electorate is more urban (Birmingham, Mobile) than Mississippi’s and hence easier to mobilize.
Mississippi voted slightly less emphatically for Trump (57.9 percent) than did the four contiguous states: Alabama (62.1), Tennessee (60.7), Arkansas (60.6) and Louisiana (58.1). And these four were less smitten with Trump than were five states outside the Deep South (Kentucky, West Virginia, Oklahoma, North Dakota and Wyoming).
Will stated that the odds are only “somewhat, but only somewhat” against Espy for the possibility of victory at the ballot box.