The 2018 midterms are still – still – not entirely settled as one more Senate race needs to be wrapped up. In Missippie, election law states that a candidate must receive 50% of the vote in order to win. Back on Election Day, November 7, no candidate reached the threshold meaning the top 2 candidates advance to a runoff election which is set for November 27.

Here is the chart with results as they stood on election night:

Candidate Party Votes Pct.
Cindy Hyde-Smith* Republican 368,536 41.5%
Mike Espy Democrat 360,112 40.6
Chris McDaniel Republican 146,013 16.5
Tobey Bartee Democrat 12,707 1.4

887,368 votes, 98% reporting (1,753 of 1,797 precincts)

Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith will faceoff with Democrat Mike Espy in a runoff election on November 27.

The two will meet tonight at a debate, the one and only before voting takes place next Tuesday:

Republican U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith and her Democratic challenger, Mike Espy, meet for their only debate Tuesday night in a contest where the incumbent’s verbal gaffes have dredged up strong emotions about Mississippi’s history of racial violence.

Senate races rarely gain national attention in this deeply conservative state. But this matchup — the last major race of 2018 midterms — has drawn scrutiny following Hyde-Smith’s caught-on-video remarks at separate events about “public hanging” and making it “just a little more difficult” for liberals to vote.

President Donald Trump reiterated his support for Hyde-Smith on Monday ahead of a campaign visit to Mississippi next week. Meanwhile, former Vice President Joe Biden endorsed Espy, a former congressman and U.S. agriculture secretary who is seeking to become Mississippi’s first African-American senator since Reconstruction.

Mississippi is a must-have for Republicans if they hope to maintain their pick up in the Senate. Losing this seat would leave things basically where they started given that Arizona also went to Democrats. If Hyde-Smith wins, Republicans would have a 53-seat majority which would give President Trump more wiggle room on judicial nominees and cabinet appointments.

Polling has become sparse in the race, but Hyde-Smith still has a +5 lead according to the New York Times citing a private Republican poll. Democrats are motivated, but they’re fighting the reality of heavily Republican Mississippi. However, one only has to look next door in Alabama when Democrat Doug Jones defeated Republican Roy Moore in a Senate special election last December.

Both candidates will be campaigning nonstop overt his holiday week with Thanksgiving right in the middle of their shortened runoff campaign.

You can watch the debate tonight on C-SPAN and local outelets in Mississippi.