/Morning Joe’ taping catapults Mississippi Senate races into national spotlight

Morning Joe’ taping catapults Mississippi Senate races into national spotlight

Espy admitted that he does get nervous at times when being asked about live television’s pressure. Espy said, “You want it to be right.” Espy’s 10-minute interview with a reporter brought him and his candidacy to the homes of hundreds of thousands of Americans who watch Morning Joe every morning. The YouTube clip of Espy’s interview has been viewed over 22,000 times by Sunday night. This doesn’t count the thousands of viewers who watched it live on TV or via the MSNBC website. Espy stated on air, “I hope my race will show that everything is so dysfunctional, cynical, and chaotic.” “People are so tired of reality TV, and they’ll always remember me as a 30-year old who did things (when elected in 1986 to Congress)… I’m trying to keep my head down. We are in the bushes, getting every vote that we can. This vote is not only for African Americans, but it also has to be able to cross-pollinate votes in order to win.” The taping in Oxford was perhaps a turning point in the otherwise quiet Senate races. They have been relatively under-reported nationally and in Mississippi. The show also served as a pitch for three candidates, who raised significantly less money than their Republican opponents (the Republican senators declined to appear on it). On Nov. 6, the state’s two U.S. Senate seats will be up for grabs. One of those seats will be decided in a “jungle primaries” three weeks later. This rare moment has captured the attention of both national media and politicians because of its enormous implications. In April, Sen. Thad Cchran retired. Gov. Phil Bryant appointed Cindy Hyde Smith, former state agriculture commissioner, to the Senate. Hyde-Smith has been serving since April and is running in a special election to defeat Espy, antiestablishment Republican Chris McDaniel, and Tobey Bartee, a lesser-known Democratic candidate. Three weeks after the Nov. 6 election, the top two vote-getters will face off to determine who gets the seat. Experts predict close national midterms, which could swing the Senate’s control from Republicans to Democrats. A Mississippi runoff could be held on Nov. 27, according to American politics experts. “… It is possible that the Senate could split 50-50 on November 6, according to Joe Scarborough, Mississippi Today’s host. So, you will then have the runoff three week after election day. The winner of the state will control the United States Senate. It’s quite amazing. It’s quite amazing. His interview was viewed over 80,000 times on YouTube by Sunday night. McDaniel stated that “We are principled conservatives and have been for some while.” “We must learn to fight. Our party is not the brave party it was before… I am concerned that my party has lost touch with those traditions of Presidents Reagan, Goldwater, and Taft. We are trying to restore those traditions and save the platform. The establishment seems less inclined to save the platform. We are here to stop the establishment.” David Baria (Democrat challenging incumbent Republican Senator Roger Wicker) was also interviewed live on the program. His YouTube video was viewed more than 32,000 times as of Sunday night. Baria stated, “There is an enthusiasm we have on the Democratic Side of the Aisle for the first time ever in my adult life.” “Mississippi is ready for change. We’ve sent the exact same people to Washington for 30 years and we have the same results. I believe Mississippians are ready and willing to make some changes. I think Mississippi is ready and willing for someone like me.” Hyde Smith and Wicker declined invitations from show producers. The hosts Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski discussed several times the possibility of a special U.S. Senate Election on Nov. 27, which could determine the Senate majority. For several segments, political analysts and Mississippi natives Elise Jordan and Eddie Glaude sat on the panel. Scarborough and Brzezinski spoke out about the importance of taped the show from Oxford in an interview prior to a Friday night event hosted by Mississippi Today. There’s a chance that you could have a black United States senator from Mississippi. Then, there’d be a Democrat in Alabama. This has not happened in a quarter century. Scarborough, a former congressman from Florida, said that it would be “remarkable”. “That would be a revolution in Southern politics. It would also send a message that the United States and the Deep South have decided to send a message towards Donald Trump. Editor’s Note: Friday’s conversation with Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski at “Morning Joe”, along with author Jon Meacham, was a fundraiser for Mississippi Today. To support this work, you can make a regular donation to us today as part of the Spring Member Drive.