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They said, 'Put this cap on. "If he invited me to a public hanging, I would be on the front row".

Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith is locked in an unusually tight runoff in the final Senate race of the 2018 midterms, and Trump's hosting two election-eve rallies in the southern state reflects the precariousness of the incumbent's campaign.

The Mississippi Department of Public Safety, which is investigating the incident, said the items were placed there early Monday morning.

Many of his supporters are expected to back Hyde-Smith.

In the final weeks of the runoff, Hyde-Smith's campaign said the remark about making voting hard was a joke.

"I think it'll be a very big day for Cindy, but don't take any chances", Trump warned a crowd in Tupelo. Espy is trying for the same kind of longshot win fellow Democrat Doug Jones had almost a year ago in neighboring Alabama, another conservative Deep South state where Republicans hold most statewide offices.

Republicans are sending the full force of the party to MS to prevent that scenario - starting with Donald Trump.

Earlier this month, Hyde-Smith was captured on video talking with a supporter.

Donald Trump during a rally for Cindy Hyde-Smith
Donald Trump during a rally for Cindy Hyde Smith

Hyde-Smith has campaigned as an unwavering supporter of President Trump, who campaigned with her Monday, praising her at a rally in the northeastern MS city of Tupelo for voting to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. "She is an outstanding person who is strong on the Border, Crime, Military, our great Vets, Healthcare & the 2nd A. Needed in D.C.", Trump wrote Sunday in one of a pair of tweets for the senator.

Trump added that a vote for her is a vote for him.

National Republican and White House officials, who've been reviewing polling over the last week, remain confident Hyde-Smith will prevail.

A spokesman for Pressley said she arrived in MS on Saturday and flew to Washington on Monday morning. He resigned in April because of health issues, and Gov. Phil Bryant, R, appointed Hyde-Smith to fill the seat. And, given that Hyde-Smith was in the process of showing some pretty ugly true colors at the time, Major League Baseball should not have done it. But she also blamed Espy and Democrats, saying her comments "were taken and twisted and used as a political weapon against me by my opponent". Whose judgement was it that a donation to her campaign, in that amount, at that particular time, made sense?

"She stood up to the Democrat smear machine", Trump said. He has also bragged about campaigning for 10 GOP candidates, saying he helped nine of them win. "But he also does the same thing with the Democratic base".

Hyde-Smith, 59, finished first in the general election among four candidates on November 6, but did not receive more than 50 percent of the vote, which triggered the runoff. They are in a runoff because no candidate eclipsed 50 percent. Hyde-Smith remarked that she would go to a "public hanging," a comment she said was made in jest and eventually apologized for. Even more damaging was the report that Hyde-Smith had sent her own daughter to a similar "whites-only" institution decades later. "We need someone who respects lives of lynching victims", one sign read.

Trippi advised Jones during his improbable win in Alabama a year ago, and emphasized that Jones won by only 23,000 votes despite facing a historically bad opponent who motivated Democratic voters and depressed GOP turnout. And sure enough, Tuesday's runoff election isn't on everyone's radar here. "We are all very proud of you!"