Mike Espy campaign poll shows he’s within 5 points of Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith


Mike Espy and Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith
An internal poll released by Democrat Mike Espy’s U.S. Senate campaign shows he’s within five points of incumbent Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, to whom he lost by eight points in a 2018 special election.
Espy is challenging Hyde-Smith in the November general election.
The telephone poll of 600 likely Mississippi voters from July 30 to Aug. 9 reports Hyde-Smith leading with 47%, Espy with 42% and about 3% supporting a third party.
The survey is Espy’s best showing in released polling to date, and he discussed it on a national MSNBC show on Thursday morning.
“The ground is shifting here in Mississippi,” Espy said on MSNBC Thursday morning. “We recently saw it with the taking down of the Confederate flag. Most Mississippians now want to turn the page and move us toward progress… We’re closing the gap.”
The poll, which shows a margin of error of 4.1%, was conducted by Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group, a pollster for high profile Democrats around the nation like New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, and 2018 Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.
FiveThirtyEight, which rates national pollsters, gave the firm a B/C rating. 
The Hyde-Smith campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But many statewide and national politicos don’t consider the race to be competitive, and previous polling has shown the incumbent Republican with healthier leads in one of the reddest states in the country.
A May Public Policy Polling survey for the Mississippi Democratic Party showed Hyde-Smith leading Espy 49% to 41%, and a May poll by Impact Management Group for Y’all Politics showed Hyde-Smith leading 58% to 31%.
In 1986, Espy became the first African American elected to the U.S. House in Mississippi since Reconstruction and later served as U.S. secretary of agriculture in the Clinton administration. Hyde-Smith,