Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith has surged ahead in the polls in the Mississippi Senate special election race after President Donald Trump visited the state to put his support behind the incumbent, according to Mississippi Today.
Trump's endorsement may have settled the debate started by state Sen. Chris McDaniel, the other Republican candidate in the race, about who is the real conservative in the race.
"She's always had my back," Trump said at the Oct. 2 rally. "She's always had your back. And a vote for Cindy is a vote for me."
What do the polls say now?
The most recent NBC News/Marist poll released Tuesday, Hyde-Smith gained 14 points from the September poll, now polling at 38 percent among likely voters.
McDaniel dropped to 15 percent, while Democratic candidate Mike Espy was second at 29 percent. If those numbers hold true in the election, that will lead to an Espy vs. Hyde-Smith runoff on Nov. 27. In a hypothetical runoff between Espy and Hyde-Smith, polling shows Hyde-Smith leading 50 percent to 36 percent, with remaining respondents undecided.
What the candidates think of Trump
The Clarion Ledger interviewed Hyde-Smith, McDaniel and Espy about Trump, and they were all relatively complimentary of the president.
Hyde-Smith called Trump "an unconventional president" who "goes out there and gets it done." Espy complimented the president's energy and credited him for continuing to improve the economy. He did point out his disagreement on the president's soybean tariffs.
McDaniel said Trump has done a "remarkable job" despite the obstacles he's up against that come with "confronting the entire establishment."
That establishment, McDaniel said, "still has a strong influence over [Trump's] policy." McDaniel pointed to some second-guessing Trump's endorsements of Mitt Romney, John McCain, Paul Ryan, and Hyde-Smith.