Trump rallies for Senate candidate after controversy in Mississippi

Nooses found by Mississippi Capitol day before runoff election	 	 	 			Courtesy AP

Nooses found by Mississippi Capitol day before runoff election Courtesy AP

If white voters outnumber black voters two-to-one on Tuesday, Espy would have to win 30 percent or more of white votes, a tough task in a state with possibly the most racially polarised electorate in the country.

MS last elected a Democrat to the Senate in 1982, but Espy was trying for the same kind of long-shot win that fellow Democrat Doug Jones had almost a year ago in neighbouring Alabama, another conservative state. The league cut the check for Hyde-Smith's campaign on November 12 or 13, two sources told Yahoo Sports - a day or two after the lynching comments were first made public by the Jackson Free Press. "She's been an excellent senator".

Hyde-Smith campaign hammered Espy for his $750,000 lobbying contract in 2011 with the Cocoa and Coffee Board of the Ivory Coast.

That recording showed the senator saying there were some liberals "who maybe we don't want to vote - maybe we want to make it just a little more hard [to vote]".

Republicans tend to think Hyde-Smith didn't mean what she said and reject the idea that the comment had racial overtones.

Trump held rallies in Tupelo and Biloxi on Monday to campaign for Hyde-Smith as Espy appears to have gained momentum in recent days, thanks at least in part to controversial comments Hyde-Smith has made on the campaign trail.

On Monday, several nooses were found at the MS capitol in Jackson in an apparent protest against the tone of the election.

The department posted photos of the signs on social media and sought information about them from the public.

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She apologized 'to anyone that was offended'. "This state is more polarized than Alabama was", said Joe Trippi, Espy's campaign strategist, who also filled that position for Jones.

Espy is trying to become the first African-American U.S. senator from MS since Reconstruction.

His campaign has pushed the idea that electing Ms Hyde-Smith would stoke the trope of Mississippi as a racist southern state.

"We can't afford a senator who embarrasses us and reinforces the stereotypes we've worked so hard to overcome", the ad says.

But Mr Espy faces an uphill struggle, and would need to overwhelmingly win the black vote and a substantial number of white voters to unseat his Republican opponent.

The donation to Hyde-Smith's campaign came after a lobbyist who works for Major League Baseball couldn't attend a mid-November fundraiser for Sen.

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