History will be made either way: Republican Sen.
The comments by Hyde-Smith, who is white, made Mississippi's history of racist lynchings a theme of the runoff and spurred many black voters to return to the polls Tuesday where she faced Democrat Mike Espy.
The Mississippi runoff gives Trump another chance to get back on the campaign trail after his frustrations with the media's coverage of the midterms, which saw Republicans lose control of the House while likely picking up two seats to expand their narrow Senate majority.
"Hyde-Smith is relying on her Republican affiliation and her loyalty to Trump - and that might be enough", he said.
"We can't afford a senator who embarrasses us and reinforces the stereotypes we've worked so hard to overcome", one ad for the Democrat said.
"She felt very badly", he said.
A noose hangs on a tree in Jackson
Hyde-Smith's runoff election against Espy, a former congressman and USA agriculture secretary, has been far closer than expected thanks to a series of racial controversies, including a photo that emerged of Hyde-Smith wearing a replica hat of a Confederate soldier, and a video in which she said she'd be "on the front row" if invited to a public hanging.
We urge all our CHQ friends and readers in MS to heed President Trump's warning: Don't take anything for granted, be sure to vote for Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith in today's Senate run-off.
Tuesday's victor will finish the final two years of the term begun by Republican Sen. Thad Cochran's six-year term.
Espy and Hyde-Smith, who would be the state's first elected female senator, are vying for the seat that was long held by Sen.
At a campaign event at Mississippi State University November 3, Hyde-Smith expressed support for efforts to suppress voter turnout on other campuses-i.e., the historically black colleges and universities in the state, outside the two main public colleges, MSU and the University of Mississippi.
Federal and state authorities are investigating seven nooses that were found hanging from trees outside the Mississippi Capitol on Monday, along with handwritten signs that referred to the Senate runoff and the state's history of lynching.
MS voters are deciding a racially charged Senate election that has dredged up the Deep South state's ugly past.
The NAACP website says that between 1882 and 1968, there were 4,743 lynchings in the United States, and almost 73% of the victims were black.
She apologized 'to anyone that was offended'.
Her friend, Marion Cranmer, also a retired longtime MS resident, agreed.
If white voters outnumber black voters 2-to-1 on Tuesday, Espy would have to win 30 percent or more of white votes, a tough task in a state with possibly the most racially polarized electorate in the country.
Addressing his supporters Tuesday night, Espy said: "While this is not the result we were hoping for, I am proud of the historic campaign we ran and grateful for the support we received across Mississippi".
Hyde-Smith has latched onto Trump at every turn, touring the state in a bus that has a large picture of the two of them plastered on its side. But they say the appearances will provide a spark to their voters, too.
The contest caps a campaign season that exposed persistent racial divisions in America - and the willingness of some political candidates to exploit them to win elections.
Espy said he refused to accept offers of plea deals. "Because I was not guilty", Espy told the Associated Press in October.
He continued: "Well, I know her".