Mike Espy, the Democrat challenging Republican incumbent Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith in November, released his third television ad of the 2020 Senate cycle on Tuesday. To date, Hyde-Smith has released just one.
Espy, whose campaign has raised more than $1 million in two weeks, has trailed Hyde-Smith in every poll released. But the most recent public polling showed him down just one point to Hyde-Smith.
Television and online spending could prove vital during the final five weeks of the cycle as campaigns struggle during the pandemic to reach voters with direct contact like door knocking and political events.
The Espy ad released on Tuesday features the voices of Mississippians praising Espy or criticizing Hyde-Smith.
“I’m a Republican farmer, and I support Mike Espy because he’s the man that can work across the aisle,” Cliff Heaton said in the ad. “Cindy Hyde-Smith is holding us back… (Espy) can work with anybody that he needs to to get the job done.”
Two doctors are quoted in the ad — one criticizing Hyde-Smith for pushing to reopen too soon during the pandemic, and one praising Espy for supporting “expanding affordable health care in Mississippi.”
The fourth Mississippian in the ad is a public school teacher.
“I have not heard Cindy Hyde-Smith talk about increasing school funding,” said Rachel Killebrew. “Mike Espy supports raising teacher pay.”