Turnout Unpredictable As Runoff Hits Home

Chris McDaniel (R) “rode his campaign bus around Mississippi on Monday” making a last-minute pitch to voters.

Alex Roarty
June 24, 2014, 7:35 a.m.

Chris McDaniel (R) “rode his cam­paign bus around Mis­sis­sippi on Monday” mak­ing a last-minute pitch to voters ahead of Tues­day’s run-off against Sen. Thad Co­chran (R). The state sen­at­or, who walks in to today’s race the fa­vor­ite, framed his battle as the start of a “con­ser­vat­ive re­viv­al” for the coun­try.

“‘You can feel it can’t you?’ McDaniel told sup­port­ers at a rally. ‘The coun­try is wak­ing up. The con­ser­vat­ive move­ment has awakened.’”(Jack­son Clari­on-Ledger)

Re­gard­less of the out­come Tues­day, Re­pub­lic­ans in Mis­sis­sippi are deal­ing with the “bit­ter real­ity” that “the lar­ger battle for power with­in the” state GOP “is only just be­gin­ning” with more statewide elec­tions on the way in 2015.

“Win or lose this week, con­ser­vat­ives here pre­dict that Mis­sis­sippi’s state elec­tions in 2015 will bring an­oth­er reck­on­ing for the party. The real­ity that McDaniel has come so close to un­seat­ing Co­chran may her­ald a lar­ger-scale shift in cul­ture for a state where seni­or­ity has long been king.”

State Sen. Mi­chael Wat­son: “‘If Chris is vic­tori­ous, and I think he will be on Tues­day, it’s a game-changer and you look at your op­tions.’” (Politico)

TURNOUT TOUGH TO PRE­DICT: “Around mid­day Monday, the Sec­ret­ary of State’s Of­fice re­leased county-by-county ab­sent­ee bal­lot­ing, touch­ing off an­oth­er round of tea leaf read­ing. Co­chran ap­pears to have the ad­vant­age there with an in­crease in ab­sent­ee bal­lot­ing in the counties he won. Wheth­er it is a pre­dict­or of turnout in an oth­er­wise un­pre­dict­able race re­mains to be seen.” (Sun Her­ald)

RACE RE­LA­TIONS: “Race is roil­ing” the run­off in Mis­sis­sippi, “a state with a long his­tory of di­vided polit­ics where the GOP is mostly white and the Demo­crat­ic Party is mostly black,” and the con­flict is spill­ing in­to al­leg­a­tions that McDaniel sup­port­ers are try­ing to pre­vent Afric­an-Amer­ic­ans from vot­ing.

The Tea Party Pat­ri­ots Cit­izens Fund, Freedom­Works, and Sen­ate Con­ser­vat­ives Fund have hired “former Justice De­part­ment at­tor­ney, J. Chris­ti­an Adams” to over­see the res­ults, and Freedom­Works says it will send “sev­er­al dozen” poll watch­ers to vot­ing sta­tions Tues­day.

Adams: “‘Elec­tion in­teg­rity is es­sen­tial, and Mis­sis­sippi has a long, doc­u­mented and tra­gic his­tory of law­less­ness in elec­tions. The out­come of the run­off should be de­term­ined by who gets the most votes, not by who ma­nip­u­lates the sys­tem the best.’”

“Asked if the Justice De­part­ment is watch­ing this year’s run­off, Justice De­part­ment spokes­wo­man Dena Iver­son said in an email: ‘The de­part­ment is aware of con­cerns about voter in­tim­id­a­tion and is mon­it­or­ing the situ­ation.’ Voters who ex­per­i­ence prob­lems are en­cour­aged to re­port them, she said.” (AP)

BIG MONEY: How much has been spent in this race? $17 mil­lion, “a mind-bog­gling fig­ure in a state without one me­dia mar­ket among the na­tion’s top 50.” (Sun­light Found­a­tion)

What We're Following See More »
Trump Won’t Debate Sanders After All
1 hours ago

Trump, in a statement: “Based on the fact that the Democratic nominating process is totally rigged and Crooked Hillary Clinton and Deborah Wasserman Schultz will not allow Bernie Sanders to win, and now that I am the presumptive Republican nominee, it seems inappropriate that I would debate the second place finisher. ... I will wait to debate the first place finisher in the Democratic Party, probably Crooked Hillary Clinton, or whoever it may be.”

Airbag Recalls Target 12 Million Automobiles
4 hours ago

"The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration identified on Friday the makes and models of 12 million cars and motorcycles that have been recalled because of defective air bag inflators made by Japanese supplier Takata. The action includes 4.3 million Chryslers; 4.5 million Hondas; 1.6 million Toyotas; 731,000 Mazdas; 402,000 Nissans; 383,000 Subarus; 38,000 Mitsubishis; and 2,800 Ferraris. ... Analysts have said it could take years for all of the air bags to be replaced. Some have questioned whether Takata can survive the latest blow."

Secret Service Disciplines 41 Agents Over Chaffetz Leak
4 hours ago

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson says 41 Secret Service agents have been disciplined in the fallout of an investigation over the agency's leak of personnel files. The leaker, who has resigned, released records showing that Oversight and Government Reform Chair Jason Chaffetz—who was leading an investigation of Secret Service security lapses—had applied for a job at the agency years before. The punishments include reprimands and suspension without pay. "Like many others I was appalled by the episode reflected in the Inspector General’s report, which brought real discredit to the Secret Service," said Johnson.

Romney Talks Cost of His Futile Anti-Trump Fight
6 hours ago

Mitt Romney spoke in an interview with the Wall Street Journal about his decision to challenge Donald Trump. “Friends warned me, ‘Don’t speak out, stay out of the fray,’ because criticizing Mr. Trump will only help him by giving him someone else to attack. They were right. I became his next target, and the incoming attacks have been constant and brutal.” Still, "I wanted my grandkids to see that I simply couldn’t ignore what Mr. Trump was saying and doing, which revealed a character and temperament unfit for the leader of the free world.”

Puerto Rico Relief Stalled on the Hill
7 hours ago

"A bill to help Puerto Rico handle its $70 billion debt crisis is facing an uncertain future in the Senate. No Senate Democrats have endorsed a bill backed by House Speaker Paul Ryan and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, while some are actively fighting it. ... On the Republican side, senators say they’re hopeful to pass a bill but don’t know if they can support the current legislation — which is expected to win House approval given its backing from leaders in that chamber."