Indeed, November’s only public poll of the runoff suggests that Espy will outperform the average Democrat, but not by enough to win. A survey conducted between Nov. 19 and 243 found Hyde-Smith leading Espy 54 percent to 44 percent; the poll was sponsored by a Republican-leaning blog but jointly conducted by one Democratic and one Republican pollster. The most recent independent poll was conducted by Marist College in mid-October, back when the runoff was purely hypothetical; it found Hyde-Smith leading Espy 50 percent to 36 percent. So it’s possible that the race has narrowed in the past month, but probably not by enough to matter. The New York Times did report on a private Republican poll that purportedly showed Espy coming within 5 points of Hyde-Smith in mid-November, but we are always leery of trusting internal polls.