Thad Cochran, who has served as Mississippi’s senator since 1978, announced his resignation on March 5. After his resignation, Cindy Hyde-Smith was appointed to fill his vacancy until the fall special election. This fall, Mississippi constituents will go to the polls to elect two senators. In the Nov. 6 general election, incumbent republican Senator Roger Wicker is running against democratic nominee David Baria for the seat. In the special election, junior republican Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith is running against democratic nominee Mike Espy.
It is anticipated by many democrats that they will be able to “flip” Mississippi to a democratic senator.
“Personally, I think that the roads need some serious work especially coming from the Jackson area where recently a senior in high school died in a car crash due to city negligence,” sophomore nursing major Anna Meadows Cress said. “Also, the public-school budgeting is funded opposite of what it should be with academic funds coming second to extracurricular activities (i.e. football). There also needs to be an increase in the mental health budget because the majority of people have some form of mental disease.”
However, the general public does not believe that these are the sole issues within our state that need addressing.
“I would like to see Medicaid revamped in Mississippi. A lot of Medicaid fraud is happening, which makes working citizens pay for more healthcare” freshman media production major Mary Preston said.
The upcoming elections boil down to “old school” vs “new school.” Republicans have held both of the state’s U.S. Senate seats since John Stennis retired in 1989. One of the major questions surrounding the Mississippi senatorial race has been whether such a red state as Mississippi was capable of switching party leadership.
“I do not think it is possible for a democrat to win a seat in Congress in such a red state,” Preston said.
Many are concerned about switching party leadership in Mississippi, as there has never been a modern democrat elected to the office.
“A party change would not be good for Mississippi because the democratic leadership would promote dependency on government programs and other socialist agendas.” Preston added.
Conversely, there have been many who believe this is a year in which democrats have a great amount of momentum, and that the democratic policies that the left runs on may have enough momentum to potentially win in such a red state.
“I think that anything is possible [for a party switch] when it comes to politics,” Cress said. “If people want changes made that the Republicans haven’t done, then yes there is a possibility of a change of power to the Democrats.”
While Cress believes it is possible for Mississippi to flip from red to blue, she also asserts that should not be people’s main concern when heading to the voting polls.
“I think that it does not matter the political party, but the person running,” Cress said. “Each politician has different goals he/she wants to achieve, and because of this it shouldn’t matter what party he/she belongs in. The only thing that matters what they are campaigning for or against.”