Lost amid recounts in Florida, uncertainty in Georgia and a handful of uncalled House races is the special election run-off in Mississippi to fill the remainder of former Republican U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran’s term. Playing in the background, though, is a multi-million-dollar battle for the last Senate seat on the board this cycle. But, for all the television ads and back-and-forth accusations, the most important factor in this race will be turnout. And, there’s probably nothing harder to assess than who will show up for what amounts to a special election. In the November 6 non-partisan primary, appointed Republican U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith placed first with 41.5 percent of the vote, well short of the 50 percent needed to avoid a November 27 run-off. Former Democratic U.S. Rep. Mike Espy, who served as Agriculture Secretary in the Clinton Administration, placed second with 40.6 percent, followed by GOP state Sen. Chris McDaniel with 16.5 percent and Tobey Bartee with 1.4 percent. The run-off contest between Hyde-Smith and Espy started the day after the general election when Hyde-Smith went on air with
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