Of the 23 Republican held U.S. Senate seats in play this 2020 election cycle, the Washington Post political analysts at ‘The Fix’ list 12 seats as potentially competitive, with 2 “more likely to flip than not.”
Mississippi’s U.S. Senate seat currently held by Republican incumbent Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith is not on the list despite Democrat challenger Mike Espy’s best efforts are drawing attention to the race and raising funds from out of state.
WaPo lists Colorado and Arizona’s Republican seats as likely to flip this cycle.
Republican seats in Maine, North Carolina, Iowa, Georgia, South Carolina, and Montana are viewed as toss ups by ‘The Fix’ analysts, while the Georgia special election seat, Kansas, Alaska and even Texas are mentioned as possible flips “under the right conditions.”
Mississippi, again, is not mentioned – even under the “under the right conditions” category.
As for the Democrat held seats WaPo considers as potentially competitive, Alabama and Michigan are listed, with Alabama being the most likely to flip. Former Ole Miss and Auburn head coach Tommy Tuberville is viewed as the odds on favorite to defeat Doug Jones.
Across the nation, Democrat challengers are outraising their Republican opponents down the stretch but that does not mean voters will necessarily be swayed to move to the left, especially in the traditionally conservative areas such as the South.
One race WaPo did not view as competitive despite the big money backing of Democrat challengers was Kentucky.
Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was thought to have a significant challenge on his hands this cycle, but as WaPo explains, “We removed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) reelection race from our rankings — he’s ahead of Democratic challenger Amy McGrath despite the tens of millions she’s raised to make it competitive.”
The same can be said of the race in Mississippi.
Mike Espy’s campaign here has touted its recent fundraising haul and has rolled out attack ads across traditional and social media. He continues to make race a central part of his campaign, as well as healthcare through promoting Medicaid expansion and increased pay for teachers – both issues that are undertaken at the state level more so than in the halls of Congress. He has drawn the backing of national Democrats and even some B list celebrities, helping him increase his social media following. Espy is now a frequent guest on left-leaning media, such as MSNBC and New York based podcasts.
Yet, there is no credible evidence that the campaign’s efforts are having any real impact on voters in Mississippi beyond that which a Democrat candidate would traditionally draw in this red state.
For Democrats to win the majority in the U.S. Senate, they need to net at least four Senate seats or net three and win the White House with Joe Biden. Mississippi does not seem to be in the cards to help the Democrats do just that.