MS-Sen: The Lincoln Project Jumps In To Boost Mike Espy's (D) Senate Campaign

Some big news out of Mississippi:

The Lincoln Project, a group of Republicans opposed to President Trump, plans to support Democratic Mississippi U.S. Senate candidate Mike Espy against incumbent Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith in the final month of a race that has otherwise seen scant national attention or outside spending.

“We’re going in there,” said Lincoln Project co-founder Rick Wilson, a longtime Republican political strategist who was field director for President George H.W. Bush’s 1988 campaign. “We’re going to help (Espy) … It’s the right thing to do. Mike Espy wins the ‘I don’t want to be embarrassed by a lunatic’ demo.”

The Lincoln Project has gained national attention for their brutal ads that typically call into question the character and morals of Republican candidates.

Wilson said the political committee plans to run ads in Mississippi, similar to what it has done in Alaska to support Democratic Senate candidate Al Gross against incumbent Republican Dan Sullivan. The Lincoln Project has a $482,000 ad buy in Alaska, part of a $4 million campaign also supporting challengers to GOP candidates in Maine and Montana.

Wilson and fellow Lincoln Project consultant, Stuart Stevens, a Mississippi native and longtime national Republican campaign strategist, believe that black voter turnout is going to be big in Mississippi and believes that female voters in Mississippi are turning on Trump. Charles M. Blow for The New York Times backs this up:

We are in the homestretch, but Espy has a real chance. One recent poll showed him trailing Hyde-Smith by only one percentage point, and Espy says that his campaign has been raising an average of $156,000 a day since Justice Ginsburg died.

There are other recent events also putting wind into Espy’s sails: The public outcry and conversations about racism following the killing of George Floyd, the Mississippi Legislature voting to remove the Confederate battle emblem from the state flag, and Joe Biden’s choosing of Kamala Harris as his running mate. These are all things Espy believes will increase Black voter turnout and woo some desperately needed white support. Tuesday night at the presidential debate, Donald Trump refused to condemn white supremacy, which is also likely to enrage and energize Black voters.

Espy believes that if he can just slightly increase his support from Black and white voters, he can win. More important, Espy says, “We need Black voters to show up. If Black voters show up, we’ll win.”

He continued:

“There were 100,000 Black voters in 2008 that showed up for Barack Obama. They did not vote for Hillary in ’16, or Mike Espy in ’18, or Jim Hood in ’19. But, now the difference is, Charles, we know who they are. We’ve got their contact numbers. We’re peer-to-peer texting. And, I’m about to put on my gloves and mask and go knock on their doors and say, ‘Brother, sister, what’s the problem? Don’t you believe that who you put in office impacts you life and your career? What’s the problem?’”

Also, Espy picked up another big endorsement:

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Mike Espy has received an endorsement from “Squad” member Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts.

“The Squad” is the name coined for a group of four progressive congresswomen elected in 2018. This group includes Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Pressley.
Monday, Pressley tweeted that Espy is “no stranger to history-making campaigns” and that she looks forward to watching him “become the first Black Senator from his state in more than a century, and bring to Washington the voices of everyone in Mississippi.”

Along with Joe Biden’s endorsement:

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And Hyde-Smith is getting nervous because she’s launching ads lying about her health care:

Various polls have highlighted the importance of improved health care affordability and access for Mississippians with a Chism Strategies/Millsaps College poll in January, finding 70% of Mississippians were concerned about being able to afford health care. And the COVID-19 pandemic has heightened the importance of the issue.

At the center of the health care issue is the future of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, often referred to as Obamacare. Hyde-Smith, a close ally of President Donald Trump, supports the president’s efforts to eliminate the Affordable Care Act. Trump’s administration will be asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the signature law on Nov. 10 — one week after the election.

In Mississippi, an estimated 600,000 people with pre-existing conditions, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, are guaranteed health care coverage because of the ACA, and an estimated 100,000 received coverage through the ACA exchange, with a large percentage of those insured receiving federal subsidies to help pay for the insurance.

In addition, Espy has supported the state expanding Medicaid, as is allowed under the ACA, to provide health care coverage to between 200,000 and 300,000 primarily working Mississippians who are in jobs that do not provide employer-sponsored insurance.

Espy is urging people to register to vote by October 5th:

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So let’s keep up the momentum and flip Mississippi Blue. Click below to donate and get involved with Espy and Biden’s campaigns:

Mike Espy

Joe Biden