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)

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