Mississippi GOP Senate Primary Looks Headed to a Runoff

Mississippi state Sen. Chris McDaniel is challenging Sen. Thad Cochran. 
National Journal
Andrea Drusch
June 3, 2014, 8:18 p.m.

The biggest Re­pub­lic­an primary of 2014 looks like it’s go­ing in­to over­time.

Neither Sen. Thad Co­chran nor his tea-party-backed primary chal­lenger, state Sen. Chris McDaniel, ap­peared able to se­cure the ma­jor­ity needed to win their party’s nom­in­a­tion in Mis­sis­sippi on Tues­day night. That trig­gers a June 24 run­off, ex­tend­ing their nasty cam­paign — and the ac­com­pa­ny­ing ex­pens­ive bar­rage of tele­vi­sion ad­vert­ising.

With 94 per­cent of the vote coun­ted, McDaniel was ahead of Co­chran by about only 1,000 votes. A third can­did­ate, little-no­ticed real-es­tate agent Thomas Carey, took just enough to play spoil­er for both can­did­ates. 

But McDaniel’s team was con­fid­ent on Tues­day night. He entered the race last Oc­to­ber be­fore Co­chran had an­nounced his reelec­tion bid, and the state le­gis­lat­or quickly drummed up sup­port from the Club for Growth, the Sen­ate Con­ser­vat­ives Fund, Freedom­Works, and an as­sort­ment of oth­er con­ser­vat­ive groups. Co­chran was plan­ning to re­tire to­ward the end of the primary, he told The Wash­ing­ton Post, but he answered pleas from es­tab­lish­ment-minded sup­port­ers to run again as McDaniel and al­lies at­tacked him as a sym­bol of pork-bar­rel spend­ing prof­ligacy.

Not sur­pris­ingly for a race that be­came the pree­m­in­ent show­down between the Re­pub­lic­an es­tab­lish­ment and the tea party, it at­trac­ted heavy spend­ing from out­side groups. Ac­cord­ing to the Cen­ter for Re­spons­ive Polit­ics, they spent more than $8 mil­lion in the race, and more money will likely come in over the next few weeks as both sides try to keep their sup­port­ers en­gaged for the quick run­off. Co­chran would be the first Re­pub­lic­an sen­at­or to lose re­nom­in­a­tion this cycle, and his fin­ish­ing be­low 50 per­cent in the ini­tial primary won’t do any­thing to de­ter his op­pos­i­tion.

What We're Following See More »
New Survey Shows Clinton Up 9 in Pennsylvania
3 hours ago

If a new poll is to be believed, Hillary Clinton has a big lead in the all-important swing state of Pennsylvania. A new Suffolk University survey shows her ahead of Donald Trump, 50%-41%. In a four-way race, she maintains her nine-point lead, 46%-37%. "Pennsylvania has voted Democratic in the past six presidential elections, going back to Bill Clinton’s first win in 1992. Yet it is a rust belt state that could be in play, as indicated by recent general-election polling showing a close race."

Obama Library Heading to Jackson Park in Chicago
3 hours ago

"President Barack Obama has chosen Jackson Park, a lakefront park that once hosted the world’s fair on the city’s South Side, for his $500 million presidential library, according to a person familiar with the matter."

Democrats Beat Republicans in Convention Ratings So Far
3 hours ago

Wednesday was the third night in a row that the Democratic convention enjoyed a ratings win over the Republican convention last week. Which might have prompted a fundraising email from Donald Trump exhorting supporters not to watch. "Unless you want to be lied to, belittled, and attacked for your beliefs, don't watch Hillary's DNC speech tonight," the email read. "Instead, help Donald Trump hold her accountable, call out her lies and fight back against her nasty attacks."

How Many VIPs Were the Secret Service Protecting in Philly Last Night?
5 hours ago

Seven, according to an official Secret Service tweet.

Candidates’ Code Names Revealed
5 hours ago

The Clintons will retain their Secret Service "code names from the last time they lived in the White House. Hillary Clinton is EVERGREEN and Bill ClintonEAGLE. Donald Trump is MOGUL, according to reports, and Melania Trump MUSE. The vice presidents get code names, too: Mike Pence is HOOSIER—a little on the nose—and his wife HUMMINGBIRD. Tim Kaine is DAREDEVIL, somewhat ambitiously. His wife's? To be determined."