Supposed Bellwether Mid-Term Republican Primary Slogs on As McDaniels Refuses to Concede to Cochran
Sen. Thad Cochran won his run-off primary in Mississippi against Tea Party challenger Chris McDaniel by reaching out to democrats in his state. McDaniel however says that he will not concede the race, citing not just (in his words) the “despicable” tactic of appealing to liberals but because of what he calls “widespread irregularities” with the vote.
The Mississippi primary was originally being watched as the “first” instance of a serious battle between a GOP establishment incumbent and a Tea Party upstart. McDaniel actually came very close to winning, earning 49.5 percent of the vote. However, a third candidate in the race meant that no one actually won the majority, so a runoff election between Cochran and McDaniel had to take place.
In the run-up to the runoff, Cochran employed a new strategy. Democrats who hadn’t voted in their primary election were eligible to vote for in the runoff, most of whom are black in Mississippi. McDaniel has said some racially charged things in the past.
In appearance on the Sean Hannity program Thursday, McDaniel seemed disgusted at the idea that the “Republican” primary would be decided by liberal Democrats, as if their citizenship in Mississippi is somehow invalidated. McDaniel called the effort “the worst style of politicking I can imagine.”
While one would think that being able to appeal to Democrats would be an asset for a Republican in a general election, the fact that Mississippi is only around 38 percent Democrat means that Cochran shouldn’t have much to worry about come November.
While it has been hinted that Tea Party activists might take revenge on Cochran by supporting his Democratic challenger, Travis Childers, in the fall this remains highly unlikely. Childers is a Democrat but, since this is Mississippi, it also means he is a conservative. Yet, if Cochran isn’t “conservative enough” for the Tea Party it seems unlikely that they’d even consider voting for Childers even if only to spite Cochran.