Victory in the final US Senate race
This article originally appeared in this issue of the WSR: 2018-11-28

This week, Mississippi held a run-off election to determine who will serve as one of the US senators from the state for the next two years. The run-off was needed because neither of the two top vote getters in the general election received 50 percent of the vote.

This run-off election was between Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith and Democrat Mike Espy. Planned Parenthood has given incumbent Hyde-Smith a 0% rating for her votes in the Senate. Espy claimed to be against abortion during his campaign, but the pro-life SBA List did a lot of work to educate voters of Espy’s pro-abortion record when he was in the House of Representatives. 

Although the major media tried to portray this race as very close, after President Trump made two campaign appearances for Hyde-Smith in the last week, with 75 percent of the vote counted, she was leading Espy 56%-44% and had been declared the winner.

Hyde-Smith’s victory means that Republicans will have a 53-47 advantage in the Senate. As the Washington Examiner reported:

In the past year, with Republicans down to 51 seats, McConnell has only been able to afford one defection on confirmations. That in effect has left fence-sitting Sens. Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, and Jeff Flake with out-sized influence over the nomination process as any two of them had the power to sink a nomination.

Going into 2019, Flake will be out of the Senate, and McConnell will be able to afford to lose both Collins and Murkowski and still have a vote to spare given Vice President Mike Pence can cast the tie-breaking vote.

The added cushion not only means that it will be easier for McConnell to get nominees confirmed, it also means that Trump and his team can have more leeway to nominate more conservative judges given that there is now less pressure to placate centrists.

Of course, this win does not change the fact that pro-abortion forces control the House of Representatives, but it gives us some confidence that the Senate can halt any major pro-abortion effort coming from the House and can confirm pro-life justices.