MISSISSIPPI | MS-sen

SMP, NRSC, Pro-Hyde-Smith Group Readying Ad Buys

Trump may return to the state on the eve of the runoff.

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Zach C. Cohen
Nov. 15, 2018, 10:06 a.m.

“Senate Majority PAC’s first ad buy … will hit airwaves Friday.” (National Journal)

The ad, released Thursday, accuses Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R) of being paid to lobby for insurance companies while health care premiums rise for Mississippians. (release)

The NRSC “has drawn up plans to spend over $1 million on a TV ad campaign buttressing" Hyde-Smith. "Much of the funding came from an approximately $1 million transfer supplied from the Republican National Committee last week.”

“Mississippi Victory Fund, a pro-Hyde Smith super PAC, is expected to invest another $600,000 ahead of the runoff. The group, which is run by Henry Barbour … had spent more than $300,000 through the middle of October.”

Plans for a potential rally by President Trump aren’t “yet finalized, but several people involved in the talks said they expect the event to take place on the eve of the runoff. It would be Trump’s first rally since his nationwide pre-midterm sprint.”

“The RNC, which deployed field staffers nationwide ahead of the midterm elections, has had two dozen aides in Mississippi for months, and plans on deploying additional staffers from other states.” (Politico)

PAC A PUNCH. PowerPACPlus, which supports former Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy (D), “released a video online showing … Hyde-Smith ... superimposed into an old photo of a white crowd attending the lynching of two black men” in “reference to a comment Hyde-Smith made at a Nov. 2 campaign rally in Tupelo … praising a supporter at the end of the rally, she said she would ‘fight a circular saw for him,’ then stated: ‘If he invited me to a public hanging, I'd be on the front row.’”

Espy, Hyde-Smith, and Gov. Phil Bryant (R) condemned the ad. (Jackson Clarion Ledger)

Jackson City Councilman Aaron Banks and religious leaders called for Hyde-Smith’s resignation over the comments. (WLBT)

The ACLU slammed Hyde-Smith on Tuesday for her comments. (The Hill)

“Democrats still face tough odds of pulling off an upset in a state that hasn’t elected a member of that party to the Senate since 1982. But strategists believe the comments are helping to mobilize Espy’s base in a likely low-turnout race held just days after Thanksgiving.”

“Since last year, the Democratic National Committee had invested over $556,000 into the Mississippi Democratic Party, which includes the $10,000 a month every state party receives as well as several grants. Mississippi Democrats said they’ve seen a boost in momentum in recent days, getting calls and contributions from outside of the state, while more people, particularly college students, are offering to volunteer.” (The Hill)

LOUD AND CLEAR. "During an event at the Jackson Medical Mall where health care issues were discussed, Espy said that his now well known raspy voice is the result of a pre-existing condition. While stressing that his pre-existing condition is not life threatening, he did say that it was expensive to treat and that he constantly battles with his insurance company over the issue."

Espy: "It makes me empathetic to people who have health problems. ... I have seen reports and one-third of Mississippians have pre-existing conditions. … This is not a Democratic issue. It is not a Republican issue. It is a health issue.”

"Hyde-Smith ... announced Wednesday she is co-sponsoring legislation with Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) to protect people with pre-existing conditions." (Mississippi Today)

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