The MS Senatorial Runoff Election – Of Memphis Democrats, Robo -Texting, and “Open Progress”


On Tuesday, November 27th, there will be a special Runoff Election for Thad Cochran’s former Senate Seat in Mississippi between Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith and Former Clinton Secretary of Agriculture Mike Espy.

Living in the Northwest Corner of the Magnolia State, I have a very special interest in this race. And, being the political junkie that I am, my ears perked up when I came across this story posted about a week ago by the Memphis NBC Affiliate, WMC-TV…

Democrat Mike Espy might be getting some help from across the state line in his bid to defeat Republican Cindy Hyde Smith in a runoff election for US Senate in Mississippi in two weeks.

Corey Strong is chairman of the Shelby County Democratic Party, a party that likely will be working in Mississippi until a runoff election for US Senate on November 27.

“North Mississippi and Memphis are connected at the hip,” Strong said.

Strong said Shelby County Democratic leaders met with Mike Espy’s team Monday and have already been phone banking and writing post cards to try and secure a victory.

“We are looking at potentially having a day of action for members of Shelby County and a concerted effort to go down and support Mike Espy in that race,” Strong said.

Shelby County Democrats were successful this year in a sweep in August of county-wide offices.

“Shelby County Democrats have really come a long way,” said WMC Action News 5 political analyst Michael Nelson. “Certainly their advice or assistance can’t help but benefit Espy in some way.”

Hyde-Smith was appointed by Governor Phil Bryant earlier this year and secured the endorsement of President Donald Trump.

“Connected at the hip”, you say?

Well, that’s only because Northwest Mississippi is populated by Former Memphians, like myself, who were invited to leave our Hometown by Former Democrat Mayor W.W. (Willie) Herenton, who was a crooked as a dog’s hind leg.

But, I digress.

About the “phone banking” mentioned in the above article…

Yesterday afternoon, while I was at work, I received, in error, a text message directed at my wife from an organization named Open Progress, asking her who she was going to vote for and asking her to vote for Mike Espy. I texted back asking them to not contact this number again.

Who is “Open Progress”? I’m glad you asked.

One part of the organization is a 501 Non-Profit.

The other part is VERY profitable.

According to their website,,

Open Progress created OPro by Open Progress LLC to serve the needs of candidates that traditional agencies serve poorly.

We have no interest in hoarding our knowledge — Our goal is to empower great progressive candidates and campaigns with a strong digital vocabulary, sophisticated methods, and exceptional data.

OPro cuts the clutter of traditional communications like direct mail, robocalls, and TV ads. All of these methods are expensive and, data show, minimally effective. Instead, we utilize modern, efficient, and effective ways of reaching people. These include on-point social media strategies, human-to-human texting campaigns, and exceptional volunteer recruitment and utilization techniques. We’re passionate about both demystifying social media strategies and empowering our candidates and campaign managers with them. By building better and more transparent digital coalitions, campaigns can focus on getting their message out to voters, not just chasing donors.

When it comes to texting, we believe that real conversations are what change hearts and minds. By engaging in direct discussions, committing to finding answers when we don’t have them, and really taking time to listen, our texters are given the ability to create real change. With efficient and precise data collection, moreover, we allow for future gains for our campaigns. What we learn about voters isn’t left on the cutting room floor, but stored for use in the next election. Our 2,000-member (and growing!) Text Troop gives you the means to reach more people than knocking on doors or calling phones ever could. Not only do we create new human connections, we make sure they’re for keeps.

So, just what is this “Text Troop”? Again, per,

The Open Progress Text Troop is a diverse community of committed volunteers from across the country who are engaging in issue-focused conversations with voters via person-to-person text messages. We encourage citizens across the country, whether English or Spanish-speaking, to register to vote. We even work to persuade and identify their support for our causes and candidates. We also help them find their polling locations. Our volunteers are trained by the best in order to create rich conversations with a better informed electorate. And we want YOU to join us!

Worried you don’t have time? Even just 2 hours a week will allow you reach 1000 people.

Open Progress’ co-founder is Elizabeth Haynes, Founder and President of a specialist market research and analytics firm which employs a data-driven approach to solving questions in the consumer, retail, and media sectors for the buy-side.

Open Progress worked on both the Doug Jones Campaign in Alabama and the Conor Lamb Campaign in Pennsylvania.

As the Church Lady would say, “Isn’t that special?”

So, gentle readers, let me break this down for you. A Former Secretary of Agriculture under Bubba Clinton has the whole weight of the Democratic Party at his disposal leading to a bunch of outside political hacks and celebrities becoming involved in a Senatorial Race in Mississippi.

…Just like failed Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Stacey Abrams had behind her in Georgia.

Cindy Hyde-Smith has a fight on her hands.

Gosh. I wonder who could advocate for her against the Democrats?

Oh, wait!

President Trump is going to be holding two more rallies in Mississippi before next Tuesday’s runoff.

Pass the popcorn.

This is getting good.

Until He Comes,





One thought on “The MS Senatorial Runoff Election – Of Memphis Democrats, Robo -Texting, and “Open Progress”

  1. Where…if I may be so bold to ask…is Ronna McDaniel RNC Chair?

    Last I heard from her she said had a great ground game for the MidTerm Elections

    Really? Then what happened?


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