Democrats give new support to Mike Espy’s Senate race

Espy raised five times more than his opponent

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A few weeks ago, Mike Espy complained that national Democrats seemed to be throwing in the towel and giving up on his chances of beating Rep. U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith in deeply red Mississippi.

“They don’t think a Black man in Mississippi can win,” the former agriculture secretary wrote on Twitter.

But Espy’s not being ignored anymore.

Since the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, about 130,000 new doners have flooded the campaign with cash, Espy said. Federal filings show that Espy raised five times more than Hyde-Smith in a recent three-month stretch.

Read More: Mississippi Senate candidate Mike Espy sees record donations after Ginsburg’s death

With party luminaries such as Cory Booker and Stacey Abrams helping him raise money, Espy has raked in at least $3.8 million since October 1.

According to USA Today, Former President Barack Obama lent his support by cutting a radio ad for Espy. The anti-Trump organization, The Lincoln Project, announced this month that it is pitching in to help Espy win the now tightening race.

Yet, despite the influx of cash and party support, Espy’s chance of achieving victory is a long-shot, and a win for him would be an upset of historical proportions.

While some southern states have slowly turned bluer, Mississippi has been rock-solid red for decades. President Donald Trump won it by 18 points in 2016 and the Republicans control the state legislature.

Ever hopeful, Espy said the campaign recently acquired a new data set that allows his campaign to locate 100,000 Black voters who supported Obama in 2008 but have not shown up to the polls since then.

Read More: Mississippi judge won’t block Jim Crow era election process

“We have their emails, we have their cellphone numbers, we know their addresses,” Espy told reporters recently. “So when I say we’re building the most powerful get-out-the-vote operation, I mean that.”

If Espy wins against Hyde-Smith, he would be the Magnolia state’s first Black US Senator since Reconstruction. In 1986, he defeated a Republican in a House race, becoming Mississippi’s first African American member of Congress since Reconstruction and was later tapped by President Bill Clinton to become Agriculture Secretary.

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