President Donald Trump endorsed Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith in the Mississippi Senate special election Thursday, which should boost her standing among Republican voters, while also potentially eliminating any chance of victory for her opponent, Republican state Sen. Chris McDaniel.
Hyde-Smith, who was appointed to the Senate seat by Gov. Phil Bryant, has seen her Republican credentials and loyalty to Trump consistently attacked by McDaniel. Those attacks have now been rendered harmless.
"[Cindy Hyde-Smith] has helped me put America first! She's strong on the wall, is helping me create jobs, loves our vets and fights for our conservative judges," Trump wrote on Twitter on Thursday evening. "Cindy has voted for our agenda in the Senate 100 percent of the time and has my complete and total endorsement. We need Cindy to win in Mississippi!"
...Cindy has voted for our Agenda in the Senate 100% of the time and has my complete and total Endorsement. We need… https://t.co/94PVS8YUFc— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1535058631.0
How did Hyde-Smith respond?
Hyde-Smith, who had been seeking Trump's endorsement for quite a while, expressed her gratitude to the president in a statement.
"I am honored that President Trump has endorsed me in this race for U.S. Senate," Hyde-Smith said. "I have voted consistently for his agenda because I believe he is taking the right steps to make this country great again -- lowering taxes, securing the border and nominating true conservatives to the Supreme Court."
I could not be more honored to have your endorsement, @realDonaldTrump! #MAGA #Cindy2018 #TeamCindy https://t.co/yxRah37ozX— Cindy Hyde-Smith (@Cindy Hyde-Smith)1535059800.0
McDaniel not fazed?
McDaniel, who has tried to position himself as the only true conservative in the race and as the person who could most help the president if elected, did not stray from that message despite not getting the endorsement.
"Mississippians know I'm the only conservative in this race," McDaniel said. "They know I'll be the toughest fighter for President Trump's America First agenda and I look forward to working together with him very soon to continue making America great."
McDaniel appeared, based on polls, to have a chance to get elected if he was to advance to a runoff against Democratic candidate Mike Espy, but he has consistently trailed Hyde-Smith by significant margins.
The election will go to a late November runoff if no candidate gets more than 50 percent of the votes on Nov. 6.
(H/T Washington Examiner)