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

Nooses found outside Mississippi legislature day before Senate vote

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The nooses and six handwritten signs referring to the state's history of lynchings and to a U.S. Senate election were found Monday - the day before a runoff between appointed Republican Sen.

President Donald Trump brought back the playbook he used during the leadup to the midterm elections, warning of the dangers of illegal immigration and painting Democrats as radical "socialists", as he returned to the campaign trail Monday to try to keep a Mississippi Senate seat in GOP hands.

Her campaign later said the comment was a joke and the video had been "selectively altered", the Washington Post reported. "It's given our state another black eye that we don't need".

But Elizabeth Gallinghouse, 84, from the coastal town of Diamondhead, voted for Hyde-Smith and said neither the "hanging" comments nor Hyde-Smith's appearance in the Confederate hat bothered her. They say surveys have consistently shown her with a lead ranging from the mid-single digits to the low double digits.

The runoff was rocked by the video, in which Hyde-Smith said of a supporter, "If he invited me to a public hanging, I'd be on the front row".

Hyde-Smith has campaigned as an unwavering supporter of President Donald Trump, who campaigned with her on Monday, praising her at a rally in the northeastern MS city of Tupelo for voting to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Thad Cochran. The longtime lawmaker retired in April amid health concerns.

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The Mississippi runoff features Hyde-Smith, who is white, against former congressman Mike Espy, an African American who said his opponent has "rejuvenated old stereotypes" about Mississippi.

"Hyde-Smith is relying on her Republican affiliation and her loyalty to Trump - and that might be enough", he said.

Racists nooses were discovered hanging outside the Mississippi State capitol of the eve of a runoff election between a black candidate and the white incumbent.

Her friend, Marion Cranmer, also a retired longtime MS resident, agreed.

Hyde-Smith is favored to win in a state that voted for Mr. Trump over her by 18 points. You or I could have done the same thing.

Smith faces a run-off election against Democrat Mike Espy on Tuesday after failing to gain 50 percent of the vote on November 6.

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GULFPORT, MISS-Republicans in MS may not be in love with Cindy Hyde-Smith, who was appointed to the Senate earlier this year after longtime Sen.

At a midday event, before the content of the signs was disclosed, Espy said he knew nothing about the nooses or signs.

But Republicans CBS News spoke with were much more likely to be there to support the president than Hyde-Smith, although some acknowledged that her winning will help his agenda.

"She stood up to the Democrat smear machine", Trump said.

Espy, who is an attorney, said: "I found out later that this guy, the president, was a really bad guy".

He says the matter is under investigation, and he did not immediately know what was on the signs.

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When a lobbyist who works for MLB could not attend a fundraiser put on by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in mid-November, the league was asked instead to donate money to Hyde-Smith, according to sources. He was tried and acquitted on 30 corruption charges, but the Mississippi Republican Party ran an ad this year that called Espy "too corrupt for the Clintons" and "too liberal for Mississippi". "I was going to vote for Mike Espy anyway".

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