Mississippi’s Democratic US Senate nominee Mike Espy took to Twitter Wednesday and chided “Democratic party leaders” about the lack of support his campaign has received. He went on to blame the lack of support due to Espy’s race saying, “They don’t think a Black man in Mississippi can win – and they continue to count out the South and Black voters.”
Democratic party leaders have ignored our race for the U.S. Senate in Mississippi.
They don’t think a Black man in Mississippi can win — and they continue to count out the South and Black voters. https://t.co/3F60yISGYo
— Mike Espy (@MikeEspyMS) September 9, 2020
There was similar griping in 2018. Espy only garnered $2 million from the DNC in 2018 pre-election versus Republicans that over $8 million in Mississippi. Espy ran alongside David Baria, who is white, at the time. Espy lost to Hyde-Smith by over seven points. Baria lost to Roger Wicker by 20 points. Y’all Politics had polled that race at Wicker +21.
However, with the DNC nationally focused on taking back the Senate, Espy’s poll numbers just don’t seem justify a major investment in 2020, at least at this point. All of the rating groups from Crystal Ball to 270 to Win to Cook Political have the race locked as safe Republican. There have been several credible polls showing Espy behind by double digits. The only poll that showed it even within shouting distance was the one he commissioned from Democrat pollsters Garin Hart Yang.
Even prominent Mississippi political observers like former Clarion Ledger Editor and Democrat party operative Sam Hall seem to have limited faith in Espy’s chances.
Espy going after DNC and other Dem leaders who have all but abandoned his race. From what I hear, the poll numbers just aren’t there. Espy having trouble breaking through with Covid dominating news and his opponent staying hidden. Reeves/Hood result probably didn’t help, either. https://t.co/HG6f3V9Oye
— Sam R. Hall (@samrhall) September 9, 2020
Though Espy has noticeably improved with small dollar donors in 2020, his ability to break through is likely going to have to come from PAC/SuperPAC dollars who would have to bring a torrent of cash in the last 7 weeks. Those donors are likely making the same calculations about the effectiveness of their spend relative to the other few seats that could be flipped given what’s at stake for Democrats in November.