Mississippi Republicans say they'll vote for Cindy Hyde-Smith, albeit reluctantly

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In the last Senate contest of the mid-term elections, white Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith faces an unexpectedly tough challenge by black Democrat Mike Espy.

Expecting them to say a thing about their clueless support for a person like Cindy Hyde-Smith - a person who stands in plain opposition to the values Major League Baseball likes everyone to believe it holds dear - is, apparently, too much to ask.

Normally Mississippi would be a layup for Republicans given the state's GOP-heavy electorate.

Hyde-Smith drew fire for praising a supporter by saying she would attend a "public hanging" if he invited her.

Hyde-Smith could use the president's help after being criticized for weeks for her comments that alluded to the state's history of slavery and racism as well as making voting harder for students at some universities. "I am an independent person, and I will be an independent senator".

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Hyde-Smith is favored to win in a state that voted for Mr. Trump over her by 18 points.

That recording showed the senator saying there were some liberals "who maybe we don't want to vote - maybe we want to make it just a little more hard [to vote]". Espy, who is black, said her comment was "reprehensible" and "disappointing". Cindy Hyde-Smith and Democrat Mike Espy in a race that has increasingly taken on racial overtones.

Chuck McIntosh, a spokesman for the Mississippi Department of Finance and Administration, which oversees the Capitol, said the nooses and signs were found starting shortly before 8 a.m. Monday, Nov. 26, outside the Capitol in downtown Jackson. He described the signs ― which police haven't yet made public ― as focusing on lynching and Till, a 14-year-old who was lynched in MS in 1955 after being accused of interacting with a white woman.

"I've known her for a period of time now as senator", Trump told reporters Monday afternoon.

After initially refusing to back down from her remarks, and as the national firestorm grew, she sought to limit the damage by offering a qualified apology during a recent debate to those who were offended, while accusing her opponents of twisting her words.

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"They are hurtful to millions of Mississippians who are people of goodwill", Espy said on CNN.

So could a Democrat win?

Espy is trying to become the first African-American to represent MS in the Senate since Reconstruction.

His campaign has pushed the idea that electing Ms Hyde-Smith would stoke the trope of Mississippi as a racist southern state. The sign also read: "We need someone who respects the lives of lynch victims".

The donation to Hyde-Smith's campaign came after a lobbyist who works for Major League Baseball couldn't attend a mid-November fundraiser for Sen.

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But so far, it appears that none of the controversy surrounding Ms Hyde-Smith will be enough to unseat her - most polls project victory for the Republican.