Mississippi GOP Senate Primary Looks Headed to a Runoff

Mississippi state Sen. Chris McDaniel is challenging Sen. Thad Cochran. 
National Journal
Andrea Drusch
Add to Briefcase
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 »
UNTIL AFTER RECESS
Health Care Vote Delayed
13 hours ago
WHY WE CARE
SO SAYS CORNYN
Senate Procedural Vote Now Coming on Wednesday
14 hours ago
THE LATEST
MCCONNELL’S BACK AGAINST THE WALL
Heller, Paul Won’t Vote on Motion to Proceed
1 days ago
THE LATEST
LESS THAN HOUSE BILL
CBO Says 22 Million More Would Be UNinsured
1 days ago
THE DETAILS

The Senate bill "would increase the number of people without health insurance by 22 million by 2026, a figure that is only slightly lower than the 23 million more uninsured that the House version would create. Next year, 15 million more people would be uninsured compared with current law...The legislation would decrease federal deficits by a total of $321 billion over a decade."

Source:
BEFORE JULY 4 RECESS
Cornyn Says Health Vote Needed This Week
1 days ago
THE LATEST
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login