Mississippi Senate race heads to runoff between Hyde-Smith and Espy

Mississippi Senate race heads to runoff between Hyde-Smith and Espy
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The Senate race to succeed Sen. Thad CochranWilliam (Thad) Thad CochranBiden has a lot at stake in first debate The Hill's Morning Report — Trump turns the page back to Mueller probe Trump praises Thad Cochran: 'A real senator with incredible values' MORE (R-Miss.) in Mississippi is heading into overtime.

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), who was appointed to Cochran’s seat, and Democrat Mike Espy, a former U.S. Agriculture secretary, will face off in a Nov. 27 runoff election after no candidate won a majority of the vote in Tuesday night’s election.

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Under the state’s election rules, the two candidates who win the biggest percentages in Tuesday's vote advance to the runoff election, regardless of political party.

The Mississippi race was expected to be kicked to a runoff after a poll released last month found that none of the four candidates had a majority of the vote. Hyde-Smith, speaking to supporters on Monday, acknowledged there was a “good chance” there would need to be runoff later this month.

Mississippi is a deeply red state. Trump won easily there in 2016 and still remains popular.

But Hyde-Smith was competing for the Republican vote against conservative firebrand Chris McDaniel. A recent NBC News/Marist poll had Hyde-Smith at 38 percent of likely voters, 12 percentage points short of the majority needed to win the election outright. McDaniel, in the poll, garnered 15 percent of likely voters.

Trump endorsed Hyde-Smith, but she faced questions about her previous affiliation with the Democratic Party.

McDaniel and Democrat Tobey Bartee will not compete in the Nov. 27 election.