Many figured Mike Espy would be running once more against Cindy Hyde-Smith after he unsuccessfully ran in the fall of 2018 for the United States Senate. At this point in the race, he seems to have turned it around from where he was just 4 or 5 months ago. This is extremely exciting for us as Young Democrats at Millsaps because he is showing all of us that it is possible to run an extremely competitive statewide campaign and not have to shy away from national Democratic ideas.
Previously candidates who have run the more competitive statewide campaigns such as Jim Hood have had to try and distance themselves from national party leaders and their ideas while their Republican counterparts launched attack after attack trying to link them to the likes of Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi. Espy now has come out in favor of many progressive policies that excite us, and he also is building a massive coalition of voters which previous candidates have failed to do.
Previously candidates running have primarily tried to appeal to white moderate Republicans and just assumed that African American voters would automatically turn out for them. This obviously didn’t draw the turnout needed among African American voters for these previous candidates to be successful. Espy has spent a lot of his time and resources campaigning in the Delta region of the state and has openly boasted about his endorsement of President Barak Obama in hopes that he will be able to turn out record numbers of African American voters.
This excitement and momentum have revitalized the Millsaps Young Democrats, we have gone to numerous Mike Espy events to phone bank, and we will all be phone banking leading up to election day. One of the reasons there has been so much excitement is that in going to these events you can sense this campaign has a different feel to the one that they ran in 2018.
This campaign is much more organized in their efforts and you can sense that everyone working and volunteering for the campaign truly thinks that they can win on November 3rd. Even if Espy comes up short there is momentum and hope for us going forward because Espy has successfully shown that there is a significant number of Mississippians out there who are ready for a more progressive future.