Voting was swift and easy in many precincts Tuesday as MS residents were deciding the last U.S. Senate race of the midterms, choosing between a white Republican Senate appointee backed by President Donald Trump and a black Democrat who was agriculture secretary when Bill Clinton was in the White House.
President Donald Trump is stumping in MS on Monday for a Republican Senate appointee who wants voters to focus on her unwavering support for him, and not the racial questions that have made Tuesday's runoff election a much closer contest than anyone expected.
"Your vote on Tuesday will decide whether we build on our extra achievements or whether we empower the radical Democrats to obstruct our progress, reverse our gains and return to the failures of the past", Trump said at a rally in Tupelo, Mississippi. Thad Cochran's seat, was recorded during a campaign stop saying that if a supporter invited her to a "public hanging", she would be in "the front row". They say surveys have consistently shown her with a lead ranging from the mid-single digits to the low double digits. During a televised debate nine days after the video was publicized, she apologized to "anyone that was offended by my comments", but also said the remark was used as a "weapon" against her.
In an effort to get out the GOP vote and stifle any momentum Democrats may have leading into Tuesday's special election, Trump has organized a 5:30 p.m. ET rally in Tupelo and another rally at 8 p.m. ET in Biloxi.
Another sign referred to Emmett Till, a 14-year-old African American who was lynched in 1955 for allegedly whistling at a white woman.
Mr Espy is seeking to become the first African-American US senator from MS since Reconstruction.
Several nooses were found hanging outside of the Mississippi Capitol building on Monday, a day ahead of a highly anticipated and controversial special election in the state.
Trump gave a shout-out to the "king of rock "n" roll" after taking the stage and said that, when he was young, "other than the blond hair, they said I looked like Elvis".
Trump was in MS stumping for Republican Sen. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) website says that between 1882 and 1968, there were 4,743 lynchings in the United States, and that almost 73 percent of the victims were black.
His campaign has pushed the idea that electing Ms Hyde-Smith would stoke the trope of Mississippi as a racist southern state.
Such donations have come under fire due to Hyde-Smith's recent comments and actions making jokes out of lynchings and glorifying Confederate history.
The Mississippi Department of Public Safety, which is investigating the incident, said the items were placed there early Monday morning. She was appointed by Gov. Phil Bryant to fill the senate seat after Cochran retired.
Hyde-Smith, 59, finished first in the general election among four candidates on November 6, but did not receive more than 50 percent of the vote, which triggered the runoff.
In the final weeks of the runoff, Hyde-Smith's campaign said the remark about making voting hard was a joke.
"I don't talk to them as white voters". "While we support candidates who promote pro-growth policies for business and technology, we do not condone these remarks and would not have made such a contribution had we known about them".
Espy said he refused to accept offers of plea deals because, "I was so not guilty, I was innocent".