Republican voters unite behind Hyde-Smith despite reservations
Republican voters in Mississippi can not be thrilled with Hyde-Smith as a candidate, but they are joining behind her as the Republican Party candidate in the race.
"I guess she's a Republican," said Jerry Smith, a long-time grandfather and resident of Mississippi, about why he voted for Hyde-Smith. The violent reaction to his comments tinged with race did not dissuade him from being willing to attend a "public hanging".
"I think it's been exaggerated," Smith said of a plate of Chinese food simmered at the Edgewater Mall in Biloxi. "But sometimes I ask myself, which are the two of the least evil, which of the two are the least evil, I'm voting for Smith, I think she's the lesser of the two evils."
Betty Lechman, a resident of the Biloxi area for five decades, told Kathryn Watson of CBS News that she would vote for Hyde-Smith because she was a Republican.
"But as I said, none of them, I would like to have someone else to vote in. But it's not going to happen," Lechman added. "All the mud throws, I do not like mud throws and the two are doing that."
Her friend, Marion Cranmer, also a resident of Mississippi for a long time, agreed.
"There have been too many mud shots," said Cranmer, frustrated. "Sometimes you just wonder what you hear about her if some of that is not true, but she just puts you on the fence, I do not like any of them."
As of Monday, Cranmer was not sure if she was voting. But, "if you do not vote for her, it's a vote for him," he added.
Dianne Swennumson, a supporter of Espy, said he did not trust the Democratic candidate's chances. She and her husband have supported Republicans in the past, but say they are horrified by Mr. Trump's rhetoric and behavior. Swennumson always planned to vote for Espy, but she felt more confident about her decision after Hyde-Smith's comment.
"I think he has a chance, but I think this is Mississippi," said Swennumson. "I wish we could be like Alabama, who had enough with Roy Moore, you know, I did not really think that would happen, but it happened, and it could be."
"I would be very surprised if Espy wins," Swennumson added.
Kathryn Watson report