Mississippi Senate runoff: Openly racist Cindy Hyde-Smith (R) defeats Mike Espy (D)

Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith has defeated Democrat Mike Espy in the Mississippi Senate race. This brings the Senate count to 53 (R) — 47 (D).

Mississippi, Goddam. The state just elected an openly white supremacist supporter of Donald Trump who unapologetically cracked a lynching joke about her Black and Democratic opponent.

From the Washington Post's backgrounder on why the race was so important:

No candidate received 50 percent of the vote in Mississippi's Nov. 6 special Senate election, sending the top two vote-getters to a Nov. 27 runoff. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R), a former state official, was appointed to this Senate seat after Thad Cochran (R) resigned in the spring. She faces Democrat Mike Espy, who was an agriculture secretary under President Bill Clinton.

Republicans have already captured 52 Senate seats in the next Congress. Despite a series of campaign setbacks – she's faced criticism for a Nov. 11 joke about attending a public hanging – Hyde-Smith is favored to make it 53. She only received 42 percent of the vote on Nov. 6 but was challenged on the right by another Republican, state Sen. Chris McDaniel. The two combined for 58 percent of the vote, compared with 41 percent for Espy.

Mississippi hasn't elected a Democratic senator since the 1980s. Sen. Roger Wicker (R) easily won reelection on Nov. 6 in the state's other Senate race.

FILE PHOTOS, REUTERS: U.S. Senate candidate Mike Espy and U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R) are seen in combination file photos, in Jackson, Mississippi.