Cindy Hyde-Smith is a sitting Republican senator running for election in Mississippi, so you’d think she would have this thing in the bag. But it seems that her habit of saying horrendous things is causing her some problems. Who could have predicted it?
First, there was the time Hyde-Smith—who is running against a black man, Mike Espy, in a runoff slated for November 27—praised a supporter by saying, “If he invited me to a public hanging, I’d be on the front row.” For some reason, people in a state known for its long and bloody history of lynchings took issue with this comment, though Hyde-Smith said it was just a fun bit of banter with a buddy.
Then, there was that moment Hyde-Smith was caught on tape “joking” that liberals shouldn’t be allowed to vote. Because nothing says “hilarious” like a powerful politician in the Deep South joking about voter suppression, right?
Hyde-Smith is still favored to win, but she’s in more serious trouble than most thought possible. The polls have tightened considerably, as the New York Times reported on Tuesday:
But in Jackson and Washington, her apparent inability to take the self-inflicted controversy in hand has unnerved Republicans and stoked Democratic hopes for an upset. A private Republican poll last week found Ms. Hyde-Smith’s lead over Mr. Espy had narrowed to just five percentage points, three people briefed on the data said.
And even Walmart—Walmart!—has decided it’s too risky to be in the Cindy Hyde-Smith business. The retail giant demanded a “refund” for its campaign contributions over the “public hanging” comments on Tuesday. Because this is 2018, the company announced its decision in a Twitter reply to Will and Grace star Debra Messing.
LOL. Anyway, here’s hoping Cindy Hyde-Smith loses.