Mississippi Senate runoff collapses into referendum on ‘old south’ racism

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As ‘blue wave’ talk dissipates, the racial subtext of the race between Cindy Hyde-Smith and Mike Espy has fallen inwards to the state

For weeks, a string of awkward remarks and investigative reports had placed race squarely in the center of Tuesday’s Mississippi Senate runoff election. There was talk of “public hangings” and Confederate symbology, and what that all meant in an election between a white woman and a black man in the US state that, rightly or wrongly, has long been held in public imagination as the nation’s most racist.

Related: Trump defends Cindy Hyde-Smith ahead of rallies for Mississippi senator

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