Mike Espy (D)
Mike Espy (D)
Cindy Hyde-Smith (R - Incumbent)
Cindy Hyde-Smith (R - Incumbent)
Chris McDaniel (R)
Chris McDaniel (R)

Created by the Campus Election Engagement Project, a nonpartisan effort to help college and university administrators, faculty, and student leaders engage their schools in the election. Key sites consulted included,,,, and public candidate statements. For guides to local races, see from the League of Women Voters and For more detailed information visit their pages. To volunteer, visit or or We can’t include Tobey Bartee due to space limitations & his polling less than 15%, but do check out his website. To download a printable pdf version of this guide, click here.

Abortion: Mostly ban or mostly legal?

Mike Espy – Legal. I’m anti-abortion, but I’m pro-choice.” “Women should have the basic right to make their own decisions.”

Cindy Hyde-Smith – Ban. “100% pro-life.”

Chris McDaniel – Ban. Has authored repeated, “legislation to protect the unborn.” Voted to ban abortions after 15 weeks.


Economy: Support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth?

Mike Espy – Yes. Supports federal spending on infrastructure, broadband & childcare, to grow the economy.

Cindy Hyde-Smith – Mixed. Sees value in federal spending on local projects. But “controlling spending” is a priority.

Chris McDaniel – No. Federal spending  “crowds out private investment & discourages economic growth.”


Economy: Support President Trump’s imposition of tariffs on Chinese steel & other products?

Mike Espy – No. Tariffs need to come to a halt. They harm Mississippi soybean production.

Cindy Hyde-Smith – Yes. Hard for soybean growers, but they “just have to hold on… They will be better off in the long run.”

Chris McDaniel – Yes. China First is NOT America First. Mexico First is NOT America first.”


Environment: Support restraints on Environmental Protection Administration (EPA)?

Mike Espy – No position found.

Cindy Hyde-Smith – Yes. Supports the deregulatory path taken by Trump EPA.

Chris McDaniel – Yes. Calls for “regulatory reform of the Environmental Protection Agency.”


Financial Regulation: Support cutbacks in Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)?

Mike Espy – No. Need “laws against waste, fraud & corruption” to protect people. “Wall Street seems immune from any restraint.”

Cindy Hyde-Smith – Unclear. Voted to roll back CFPB rule limiting potentially discriminatory auto loan rates.

Chris McDaniel – Unclear on CFPB. End “burdensome regulations.” Require Congress to approve new regulations.


Gay Marriage: Support gay marriage?

Mike Espy – Yes. “Committed to ALL Mississippians having access to their rights of citizenship,” regardless of sexual orientation.

Cindy Hyde-Smith – No. “Personally believes marriage is between a man & a woman.”

Chris McDaniel – No. Supreme Court gay marriage decision “has absolutely no basis” in Constitution or common law.


Gun Control: Support more restrictive gun control legislation? Restrict semi-automatic weapons?

Mike Espy – Yes, up to a point. “I believe in the Second Amendment… but things have changed.” No assault weapons to anyone under 21 or “declared a danger to himself or others.”

Cindy Hyde-Smith – No. Says, “Right to bear arms is essential to American Liberty… No law-abiding Mississippian should EVER be denied their constitutional rights.”

Chris McDaniel – No. Will never takes away rights of law-abiding gun-owners. Allow citizens to purchase & carry firearms without government permission.


Healthcare: Support or Repeal Affordable Care Act (ACA), known as Obamacare?

Mike Espy – Support. Protect while expanding mental health & prescription drug coverage & offering preventive services without cost-sharing.

Cindy Hyde-Smith – Repeal Obamacare. Help families afford health insurance coverage without expanding government role.

Chris McDaniel – Repeal. “I WILL support & vote for the full repeal of Obamacare.”


Healthcare: Allow Planned Parenthood to receive public funds for non-abortion health services?

Mike Espy – Probable yes. Says will fight for women’s rights & reproductive health care… including the availability of medical services.

Cindy Hyde-Smith – No. Opposes public funds going toward family planning services at healthcare organizations that also provide abortions.

Chris McDaniel – No. “Defund Planned Parenthood.” Doesn’t matter that their clinic doesn’t offer abortion, because their money is fungible.


Healthcare: Require people to work to receive Medicaid?

Mike Espy – No. “Mississippians should have full access…” Expand funding of Medicaid & CHIP.

Cindy Hyde-Smith – Unclear. Support Farm Bill amendment adding a work requirement to food stamp programs.

Chris McDaniel – Probable yes, though no Medicaid mention. “I WILL support & vote for work requirements for welfare recipients.”


Immigration: Response to family separation policy being used as a deterrent to illegal immigrants. (Only immigration issue where all three candidates took a stand)

Mike Espy – “Separating children from their families is misguided… We can have secure borders WITHOUT punishing innocent children.”

Cindy Hyde-Smith – “Distressing to me as a mother, but we cannot lose sight that US immigration laws must be enforced.”

Chris McDaniel – Obama “separated children from families & the national press said NOTHING. Democrats were silent. But now there is outrage.”


Marijuana: Legalize or decriminalize marijuana?

Mike Espy – Wouldn’t say absolutely no. Maybe medical first.  I would just have to know if it was safe” & “a financial benefit to the state.”

Cindy Hyde-Smith – Likely no. Voted to block amendment that would have allowed banks to work with legitimate cannabis businesses.

Chris McDaniel – Leave it up to the states.


Minimum Wage: Raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 hr?

Mike Espy – Yes. Strongly support increased minimum wage & increased Earned Income tax credit.

Cindy Hyde-Smith – No position found.

Chris McDaniel – No. Would eliminate employment opportunities but do little to reduce poverty or inequality. Government shouldn’t dictate employer wages.


Renewable Energy: Support government subsidies for renewable energy?

Mike Espy – No position found.

Cindy Hyde-Smith – Supports biofuels. No other position found.

Chris McDaniel – No. Opposes funding inefficient sources of energy like ethanol & solar energy. Government shouldn’t pick winners & losers.


Student debt: Help students refinance student loans at lower rates? Increase financial aid, like Pell Grants?

Mike Espy – Yes. Would increase interest subsidies on student loans. Also, protect students from predatory for-profit schools.

Cindy Hyde-Smith – No position found.

Chris McDaniel – No. Has said the federal government should have no role in education, not even to pay for it.


Taxes: Support President Trump’s tax cut bill?

Mike Espy – No position found.

Cindy Hyde-Smith – Yes. Supports Trump’s tax cuts.

Chris McDaniel – Mixed. Called early drafts an embarrassment.” Called final version a good first step,” but said taxes needed to be reduced further.”


Voting Rights: Support voting rules that prioritize preventing the possibility of fraud, even if they limit access?

Mike Espy – Probable No. Says “I stand firmly for civil rights, voting rights & women’s rights.”

Cindy Hyde-Smith – Yes. Voted for legislation requiring specific forms of voter identification in order to vote.

Chris McDaniel – Yes. Helped defeat bill giving felons the right to vote & instituting early voting. Instead, pushed for a stronger voter-ID bill.