Runoff next in MS Senate GOP primary

posted at 8:41 am on June 4, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Call it a do-over. After months of bitter fighting in Mississippi between the Tea Party-backed insurgent and the defiant Establishmentarian, the GOP primary for the US Senate seat will have one last, three-week hurrah. Chris McDaniel barely edged out 38-year incumbent Thad Cochran in the voting but narrowly missed the 50%+1 vote mark needed to win the nomination. A runoff will take place between just the two top candidates on June 24:

Locked in a race that won’t end, Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran and tea party-backed challenger Chris McDaniel pointed toward a possible June 24 runoff after battling to a near-draw Tuesday in a primary that underscored Republican differences.

Unofficial returns from 98 percent of the state’s precincts showed McDaniel with slightly over 49 percent of the vote in a three-way race and Cochran with slightly less. It takes a majority by one candidate to avoid a runoff.

“For too long, we’ve been silent. For too long, we sat still. For too long, we let them have their way with us,” McDaniel told supporters late Tuesday in a slap at the Washington establishment.

“It’s looking like a runoff,” conceded Rep. Gregg Harper, addressing a crowd of Cochran supporters.

It’s going to cost some outside groups even more cash in a race where they’ve already spent general-election levels of money:

Already a savagely personal race, the duel between Cochran and activist state Sen. Chris McDaniel could now drag on until the next vote on June 24 and present national Republicans with a dilemma: Whether to continue supporting the senator and tearing down McDaniel at the potential cost of damaging the party’s eventual nominee.

Outside groups have already spent more than $8 million in the Republican Senate primary, an extraordinary sum in a small state that rarely hosts competitive federal elections. Cochran and his allies have assailed McDaniel as a bumbling snake-oil salesman and finger-in-the wind opportunist who’s out of touch with Mississippi’s priorities. McDaniel and his campaign have attacked Cochran’s record of voting for federal spending, accused him of being soft on President Barack Obama and raised not-so-veiled questions about the senator’s age.

First, let’s not worry too much about any damage to the eventual nominee, for three reasons. One, it’s difficult to imagine that this race will get any more “savagely personal” than it already has. Two, there will still be four months for whatever damage is done to dissipate in a very Republican-friendly environment. And three, each of the two Republicans drew about twice as many votes as all Democrat votes combined in their primary last night, with about a 4:1 ratio between the two parties. The general election won’t be an 80/20, but it won’t be 51/49, either.

A runoff only really looks like bad news for Thad Cochran. McDaniel established his credibility as a state-wide candidate with his plurality over Cochran last night, and as Allahpundit noted last night, Cochran’s standing as an unassailable institution has crumbled. His inability to best McDaniel last night may have some Mississippi voters who supported the incumbent last night wonder whether it’s better to make a change now that is obviously inevitable, while those few who voted for someone other than the top two finishers are already looking for a Cochran alternative. The runoff will probably still be relatively close, but don’t be surprised to see McDaniel win by more than 51/49, either.


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But I thought the Tea Party was dead.

Doughboy on June 4, 2014 at 8:44 AM

But I thought the Tea Party was dead.

Doughboy on June 4, 2014 at 8:44 AM

Well, not that Tea Party. That other Tea Party, you know…Mitt Romney…2014…endorsements. Do we have to explain everything to you?

dreadnought62 on June 4, 2014 at 8:49 AM

New blood – I hope.

vnvet on June 4, 2014 at 8:49 AM

Has anybody told Thad Cochran yet?

bobnox on June 4, 2014 at 8:50 AM

But I thought the Tea Party was dead.

Doughboy on June 4, 2014 at 8:44 AM

Don’t worry, somebody will be along shortly to tell you the South doesn’t matter, ignorant Southerners, racist, racist Tea Party, blah, blah, blah …

M240H on June 4, 2014 at 8:51 AM

Creepy Cochran has got to go.

The Establishment is going to likely go all in here. Which is why I only donate to candidates and NEVER to the RNC or the NRSC.

ConstantineXI on June 4, 2014 at 8:52 AM

This story is really about how Democrat voters came out in droves and voted for the establishment-backed RINO incumbent in an effort to get the tea party candidate off the November ballot.

Mahdi on June 4, 2014 at 8:58 AM

So….Sasse in Nebraska, Ernst in Iowa, McDaniel (more than likely) in Mississippi, Patrick over Dewhurst in Texas, and Ratcliffe taking out Hall in TX-4. For a movement that is supposedly dead, the tea party movement hasn’t done that bad. There’s still Shannon in Oklahoma and, maybe, Wolf in Kansas as well.

topdawg on June 4, 2014 at 8:59 AM

Don’t worry, somebody will be along shortly to tell you the South doesn’t matter, ignorant Southerners, racist, racist Tea Party, blah, blah, blah …

M240H on June 4, 2014 at 8:51 AM

True. Southern Tea Partiers only support white candidates….I mean, aside from Ted Cruz, Nikki Haley, Tim Scott, Marco Rubio, and Allen West.

Doughboy on June 4, 2014 at 9:01 AM

Ed, I think you’re downplaying the harm to the eventual nominee that could happen, especially if it’s McDaniel. There’ve been a few so-called gimme Senate races in recent years that have been lost in part due to that.

changer1701 on June 4, 2014 at 9:02 AM

True. Southern Tea Partiers only support white candidates….I mean, aside from Ted Cruz, Nikki Haley, Tim Scott, Marco Rubio, and Allen West.

Doughboy on June 4, 2014 at 9:01 AM

Jindal ain’t perfect, but he deserves the huge respect he gets.

M240H on June 4, 2014 at 9:04 AM

If McDaniel is declared the winner…we will lose a safe seat…it’s done

This guy has more skeletons in his closets that the Dems won’t have to spend much time gathering the ads

Todd Aiken was nothing compared to this guy

McDaniel will be tied to the GOP brand, as Aiken was, and we will lose our chance to retake the Senate. Count on it

Redford on June 4, 2014 at 9:05 AM

What the hell does the GOP need with a 76-year-old senator starting another six-year term on top of the 38 years he’s been there.

Cochran should be a statesman and bow out of the runoff.

BuckeyeSam on June 4, 2014 at 9:06 AM

38-year incumbents who can’t crush primary opponents who have an odor attached to them are not long for the political world.

rbj on June 4, 2014 at 9:07 AM

If the Tea Party had run a candidate of this caliber against McConnell things would have turned out differently here in Kentucky.

Johnnyreb on June 4, 2014 at 9:07 AM

If McDaniel is declared the winner…we will lose a safe seat…it’s done

This guy has more skeletons in his closets that the Dems won’t have to spend much time gathering the ads

Todd Aiken was nothing compared to this guy

McDaniel will be tied to the GOP brand, as Aiken was, and we will lose our chance to retake the Senate. Count on it

Redford on June 4, 2014 at 9:05 AM

It was amusing for me watching Tingles Matthews propose that McDaniel could launch a Democrat Senator from Mississippi and Joan Walsh shot him down and said he was crazy. Joan Walsh!!

Marcus on June 4, 2014 at 9:10 AM

If McDaniel is declared the winner…we will lose a safe seat…it’s done

This guy has more skeletons in his closets that the Dems won’t have to spend much time gathering the ads

Todd Aiken was nothing compared to this guy

McDaniel will be tied to the GOP brand, as Aiken was, and we will lose our chance to retake the Senate. Count on it

Redford on June 4, 2014 at 9:05 AM

Yes, yes, we know. The only candidates we should nominate are McConnell/Boehner yes men.

topdawg on June 4, 2014 at 9:15 AM

Redford on June 4, 2014 at 9:05 AM

Thank you for your concern.

ROFL

Jayrae on June 4, 2014 at 9:19 AM

Jindal ain’t perfect, but he deserves the huge respect he gets.

M240H on June 4, 2014 at 9:04 AM

I left out Jindal only because I believe his first election as Governor(not to mention to the House before that) predates the Tea Party. But yes, he has been embraced by them in the years since.

Doughboy on June 4, 2014 at 9:19 AM

Ed, I think you’re downplaying the harm to the eventual nominee that could happen, especially if it’s McDaniel. There’ve been a few so-called gimme Senate races in recent years that have been lost in part due to that.

changer1701 on June 4, 2014 at 9:02 AM

I know. Like those races in Montana and North Dakota in 2012 that were LOST BY ESTABLISHMENT CANDIDATES! States Romney won by 20%+ that were lost by ESTABLISHMENT CANDIDATES! Talk about gimme races thrown away by ESTABLISHMENT CANDIDATES!

Karl Rove and the Establishment’s ESTABLISHMENT MODERATE CANDIDATES Went 0 FOR 8 in 2012! 0 FOR 8! And you want to focus on the miniscule amount of races lost by tea party candidates.

Get out of here. Go bow to the establishment some more.

tcufrog on June 4, 2014 at 9:20 AM

This story is really about how Democrat voters came out in droves and voted for the establishment-backed RINO incumbent in an effort to get the tea party candidate off the November ballot.

Mahdi on June 4, 2014 at 8:58 AM

bingo. If not for this, Ancient Thad would’ve gotten his azz kicked.

ToddPA on June 4, 2014 at 9:20 AM

If McDaniel is declared the winner…we will lose a safe seat…it’s done

This guy has more skeletons in his closets that the Dems won’t have to spend much time gathering the ads

Todd Aiken was nothing compared to this guy

McDaniel will be tied to the GOP brand, as Aiken was, and we will lose our chance to retake the Senate. Count on it

Redford on June 4, 2014 at 9:05 AM

Here we go with this “We” crap again. Who is “We”? If by “we” you mean Republican, than I am not a part of your “we”. I am a conservative, not a Republican. So if Cochran wins, than I and other conservatives lose. You are nothing more than someone who only cares about the party and not the principle. A candidate could be an outspoken Obama supporter and communist and you’d vote for them if they had an R next to their name.

tcufrog on June 4, 2014 at 9:22 AM

If McDaniel is declared the winner…we will lose a safe seat…it’s done

This guy has more skeletons in his closets that the Dems won’t have to spend much time gathering the ads

Todd Aiken was nothing compared to this guy

McDaniel will be tied to the GOP brand, as Aiken was, and we will lose our chance to retake the Senate. Count on it

Redford on June 4, 2014 at 9:05 AM

Yes, yes, we know. The only candidates we should nominate are McConnell/Boehner yes men.

topdawg on June 4, 2014 at 9:15 AM

I think it was satire. Or maybe not.

Rix on June 4, 2014 at 9:22 AM

But I thought the Tea Party was dead.

Doughboy on June 4, 2014 at 8:44 AM

GM owners are dead and the Tea Party is alive.

Fallon on June 4, 2014 at 9:28 AM

So….Sasse in Nebraska, Ernst in Iowa, McDaniel (more than likely) in Mississippi, Patrick over Dewhurst in Texas, and Ratcliffe taking out Hall in TX-4. For a movement that is supposedly dead, the tea party movement hasn’t done that bad. There’s still Shannon in Oklahoma and, maybe, Wolf in Kansas as well.

topdawg on June 4, 2014 at 8:59 AM

In my opinion, this is what a takeover looks like. We are going to win some, lose a lot, and force runoffs, some of which we’ll win. Anybody that did not expect the establishment to fight back wasn’t being realistic.

What we need to guard against is this fast-paced, 24X7 news cycle, social-media fueled idea that since we did not take over completely, immediately, we’re a failure.

It took the progressives a hundred years to get from where they started to electing Obama and they had many setbacks along the way. We have to be committed for that same kind of long haul.

Occams Stubble on June 4, 2014 at 9:29 AM

Don’t forget there was some 3rd schmuck in there ruining the true vote, too.

HopeHeFails on June 4, 2014 at 9:33 AM

What the hell does the GOP need with a 76-year-old senator starting another six-year term on top of the 38 years he’s been there.

Cochran should be a statesman and bow out of the runoff.

BuckeyeSam on June 4, 2014 at 9:06 AM

Agreed. He should know that if he can’t whip a primary challenger, he is done.

If he goes for the runoff, that will definitely say something about the establishment.

Occams Stubble on June 4, 2014 at 9:34 AM

Get out of here. Go bow to the establishment some more.

tcufrog on June 4, 2014 at 9:20 AM

WTF are you on going on about? Ed downplayed the harm that could be done if the establishment really went after McDaniel in these next three weeks, and I was disagreeing with him. I didn’t suggest the seat was in peril if he was the nominee.

Since you brought it up, though, tea party candidates have also cost us races in recent years, and both establishment and tea party candidates have been hurt in the general-even for so-called safe seats-by the kind of mutually assured destruction campaigning that Ed downplays here. That was the point.

changer1701 on June 4, 2014 at 9:35 AM

Since you brought it up, though, tea party candidates have also cost us races in recent years, and both establishment and tea party candidates have been hurt in the general-even for so-called safe seats-by the kind of mutually assured destruction campaigning that Ed downplays here. That was the point.

changer1701 on June 4, 2014 at 9:35 AM

Tea Party Candidate Losses in 2012: 2 (Mandel in Ohio, Murdouck in Indiana)

Establishment Candidate Losses in 2012: 9 (North Dakota, Montana, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Florida, Massachusetts, Hawaii, New Mexico, Connecticut)

tcufrog on June 4, 2014 at 9:39 AM

Good news for those who are getting sick and damned tired of entrenched lifers in Congress who do nothing but gorge themselves from the public trough.

HiJack on June 4, 2014 at 9:40 AM

Occams Stubble on June 4, 2014 at 9:29 AM

Good comment and great name, lol.

Fallon on June 4, 2014 at 9:41 AM

At least many people in Mississippi believe in term limits.

mobydutch on June 4, 2014 at 9:44 AM

Tea Party Candidate Losses in 2012: 2 (Mandel in Ohio, Murdouck in Indiana)

Establishment Candidate Losses in 2012: 9 (North Dakota, Montana, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Florida, Massachusetts, Hawaii, New Mexico, Connecticut)

tcufrog on June 4, 2014 at 9:39 AM

So glad you didn’t include Akin in Missouri in the TP list. So many GOPe supporters like to try and square that circle too often.

Don’t forget the establishment candidates spectacular records in a 2010. Anyone remember demon sheep?

NWConservative on June 4, 2014 at 9:49 AM

In my opinion, this is what a takeover looks like. We are going to win some, lose a lot, and force runoffs, some of which we’ll win. Anybody that did not expect the establishment to fight back wasn’t being realistic.

What we need to guard against is this fast-paced, 24X7 news cycle, social-media fueled idea that since we did not take over completely, immediately, we’re a failure.

It took the progressives a hundred years to get from where they started to electing Obama and they had many setbacks along the way. We have to be committed for that same kind of long haul.

Occams Stubble on June 4, 2014 at 9:29 AM

You are correct. From the Hadlines WSJ article:

During those four decades, the share of Republicans regarding themselves as conservative or very conservative rose by fully 30 points, to 76% from 46%. The average Democratic voter moved about half a point to the left on the standard seven-point ideological scale; the average Republican voter moved about three-quarters of a point to the right. Republicans are now a predominantly conservative party, while Democrats remain a coalition of liberals and moderates.

On the role of government, Republicans have moved much further right than Democrats have to the left. It is hard to overstate the intensity of Republican sentiment on this issue. Between 1972 and 2012, the share of Republicans who regard themselves as very conservative on taxes and using government to promote jobs and social services soared to 38% from 9%, and the share of economic conservatives overall rose to 80% from 48%.

It is happening. The leaders must follow the people, or the GOP perishes. A win either way in my book.

M240H on June 4, 2014 at 9:52 AM

Hadlines–Headlines

M240H on June 4, 2014 at 9:53 AM

Tea Party Candidate Losses in 2012: 2 (Mandel in Ohio, Murdouck in Indiana)

Establishment Candidate Losses in 2012: 9 (North Dakota, Montana, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Florida, Massachusetts, Hawaii, New Mexico, Connecticut)

tcufrog on June 4, 2014 at 9:39 AM

I never disputed that establishment candidates have lost gimme races (though some of those you list, such as MA, HI, CT, aren’t gimmes regardless of the political climate, especially in a presidential election year). You also neglect to mention NV, DE, CO, and MO, all Senate races lost by tea candidates or those who claimed that mantle, the former three at the height of the wave that ushered in the GOP House.

changer1701 on June 4, 2014 at 9:54 AM

Just a little side-note on “Ratcliffe taking out Hall in TX-4.” Don’t take that as a “tea party” victory, although it was nice that a conservative won. Ralph Hall was always a strong conservative vote, and a longtime close personal friend of GWB’s, always loyal to him. I walked a neighborhood for Ralph Hall 20 years ago.

BUT…. as much as we liked Ralph, he’d gotten past that 90 year mark and STILL wouldn’t retire! He wanted to die in office, which is nice for him, but not so nice for his constituents who actually wanted someone who could still function in the office. (No, a 90 year old man cannot be an effective officeholder) I (and most voters in the district) felt about him the way you feel about a much loved old uncle, when it’s time to take the car keys away. You know he’s going to be mad, and you really don’t want to hurt him, but it’s time and its got to be done. If his mind was still what it used to be, he wouldn’t have forced others to make the responsible choice for him.

Tom Servo on June 4, 2014 at 9:54 AM

This story is really about how Democrat voters came out in droves and voted for the establishment-backed RINO incumbent in an effort to get the tea party candidate off the November ballot.

Mahdi on June 4, 2014 at 8:58 AM

Isn’t bipartisanship grand? It’s always nice to see the Democrats and Republicans working together against the real enemy – American conservatives. /

So….Sasse in Nebraska, Ernst in Iowa, McDaniel (more than likely) in Mississippi, Patrick over Dewhurst in Texas, and Ratcliffe taking out Hall in TX-4. For a movement that is supposedly dead, the tea party movement hasn’t done that bad. There’s still Shannon in Oklahoma and, maybe, Wolf in Kansas as well.

topdawg on June 4, 2014 at 8:59 AM

If the Tea Party had run a candidate of this caliber against McConnell things would have turned out differently here in Kentucky.

Johnnyreb on June 4, 2014 at 9:07 AM

Finding quality conservative candidates is very tough. Men like Ted Cruz are extremely rare and the bar is high. The fact that we are continuing to win races two cycles out from the initial Tea Party wave is astonishing to me, as I am a big-time cynic when it comes to politics. It does make me thinka conservative takeover is all but certain if we can keep this going for another 5-10 years.

Now, if only the economy had 5-10 years…

What we need to guard against is this fast-paced, 24X7 news cycle, social-media fueled idea that since we did not take over completely, immediately, we’re a failure.

Occams Stubble on June 4, 2014 at 9:29 AM

Mostly agree, though I think this meme is primarily driven by the Republicans and Democrats who both have an interest in keeping the Tea Party from getting too strong.

Doomberg on June 4, 2014 at 9:54 AM

activist state Sen. Chris McDaniel

They left out ‘candy-assed RINO’ before Cochran

faraway on June 4, 2014 at 9:55 AM

It is happening. The leaders must follow the people, or the GOP perishes. A win either way in my book.

M240H on June 4, 2014 at 9:52 AM

Agreed with this. If we can start toppling Republican leaders we will be able to finally regain control of the party in short order. I think that’s why there’s such an aggressive push for amnesty going on right now – if too many conservative Republicans are elected, amnesty will be impassable.

Others have speculated this, and I agree that the current GOP leadership would rather stay a shrunken minority party to keep conservatives out of power so they can continue partying on the taxpayer dime.

Doomberg on June 4, 2014 at 9:59 AM

Lets put the ‘leader’ back in ‘leadership’.

faraway on June 4, 2014 at 10:01 AM

This was a message vote to the political power in Mississippi…

d1carter on June 4, 2014 at 10:06 AM

True. Southern Tea Partiers only support white candidates….I mean, aside from Ted Cruz, Nikki Haley, Tim Scott, Marco Rubio, and Allen West.

Doughboy on June 4, 2014 at 9:01 AM

Well, Allen West isn’t really a black man, at least according to the NAACP who officially de-blacked him years ago and kicked him out of the black race. They did the same thing to Clarence Thomas and many other formerly black people.

Mahdi on June 4, 2014 at 10:06 AM

If McDaniel is declared the winner…we will lose a safe seat…it’s done

This guy has more skeletons in his closets that the Dems won’t have to spend much time gathering the ads

Todd Aiken was nothing compared to this guy

McDaniel will be tied to the GOP brand, as Aiken was, and we will lose our chance to retake the Senate. Count on it

Redford on June 4, 2014 at 9:05 AM

Spreading the FUD a little thick today.

There Goes the Neighborhood on June 4, 2014 at 10:09 AM

If the GOP had an ounce of integrity they would ask Cochran to step aside and back McDaniels. Of course they won’t which is one of the reasons they are always struggling. Any sane person looking at Cochran can tell it’s time for him to retire. To push him for another 6 years is a disgrace. Barbour wants him to win so that he can personally pick his replacement when he does step down if he wins reelection. Where is the sense of “We” instead of “Me”?

inspectorudy on June 4, 2014 at 10:09 AM

Has anybody told Thad Cochran yet?

bobnox on June 4, 2014 at 8:50 AM

Yes, but it will be 3 weeks before he responds.

huckleberryfriend on June 4, 2014 at 10:20 AM

It’s obvious Boehner & Co. are preparing an amnesty push for this summer because they thought the TEA Party movement was dead.

This will hopefully be a wake-up call.

Ted the Average on June 4, 2014 at 10:24 AM

inspectorudy on June 4, 2014 at 10:09 AM

It still might happen. Thad is looking pretty puny and as a son of Mississippi needs to come home to his wife and family. He could look very gracious as an elder statesmen and be praised for his decision and life’s work. It’ll go down in the history books much better for him if he bows out……and for Haley Barbour, et.al.

gracie on June 4, 2014 at 10:25 AM

My, that ‘tea party’ sure is a big ‘ol nothingburger, isn’t it GOPe?

Midas on June 4, 2014 at 10:25 AM

This will hopefully be a wake-up call.

Ted the Average on June 4, 2014 at 10:24 AM

gonna be fun to see what happens next week in VA between Cantor and Brat. Dat Brat’s da Man!

gracie on June 4, 2014 at 10:27 AM

If the GOP had an ounce of integrity they would ask Cochran to step aside and back McDaniels. Of course they won’t which is one of the reasons they are always struggling. Any sane person looking at Cochran can tell it’s time for him to retire. To push him for another 6 years is a disgrace. Barbour wants him to win so that he can personally pick his replacement when he does step down if he wins reelection. Where is the sense of “We” instead of “Me”?

inspectorudy on June 4, 2014 at 10:09 AM

Pffft.

That only applies to conservatives/’tea party’ folks. For the establishment? Hell no. If Cochran loses, it wouldn’t be unusual for him to run third party, and throw in behind the Democrat.

That’s the way the GOPe rolls. “Who’s this *we* you keep referring to, you wackobird hobbit terrorist?”

Midas on June 4, 2014 at 10:28 AM

Mostly agree, though I think this meme is primarily driven by the Republicans and Democrats who both have an interest in keeping the Tea Party from getting too strong.

Doomberg on June 4, 2014 at 9:54 AM

I don’t know. There’s one or two guys in my Tea Party group that I have to keep reminding about this. They get down in the dumps when they see we’re not taking over as fast as they would like and we’re in Texas! I shudder to think how this is affecting people in less conservative places.

Occams Stubble on June 4, 2014 at 10:29 AM

Just a little side-note on “Ratcliffe taking out Hall in TX-4.” Don’t take that as a “tea party” victory, although it was nice that a conservative won. Ralph Hall was always a strong conservative vote, and a longtime close personal friend of GWB’s, always loyal to him. I walked a neighborhood for Ralph Hall 20 years ago.

BUT…. as much as we liked Ralph, he’d gotten past that 90 year mark and STILL wouldn’t retire! He wanted to die in office, which is nice for him, but not so nice for his constituents who actually wanted someone who could still function in the office. (No, a 90 year old man cannot be an effective officeholder) I (and most voters in the district) felt about him the way you feel about a much loved old uncle, when it’s time to take the car keys away. You know he’s going to be mad, and you really don’t want to hurt him, but it’s time and its got to be done. If his mind was still what it used to be, he wouldn’t have forced others to make the responsible choice for him.

Tom Servo on June 4, 2014 at 9:54 AM

Elected in 1980 as a Democrat and switched to Republican later. And GWB was not at all a Conservative but a Ruling Class Republican. His “compassionate conservatism” nonsense not much better than Romney’s “severe conservative” mumbo jumbo. NCLB, Medicare huge expansion, TARP, etc, etc.

By lumping GWB in the group of Conservatives, you prove you don’t know what it means to be one; thus, your declaration that a former Democrat-turned-Republican (to keep his seat) is and was a good Conservative doesn’t hold water. (And I know that, overall, Southern Democrats are more conservative than northern ones, but that’s saying Austin summers are colder than Laredo ones.)

John Hitchcock on June 4, 2014 at 10:46 AM

Since you brought it up, though, tea party candidates have also cost us races in recent years, and both establishment and tea party candidates have been hurt in the general-even for so-called safe seats-by the kind of mutually assured destruction campaigning that Ed downplays here. That was the point.

changer1701 on June 4, 2014 at 9:35 AM

Tea Party Candidate Losses in 2012: 2 (Mandel in Ohio, Murdouck in Indiana)

Establishment Candidate Losses in 2012: 9 (North Dakota, Montana, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Florida, Massachusetts, Hawaii, New Mexico, Connecticut)

tcufrog on June 4, 2014 at 9:39 AM

http://dailycaller.com/2014/05/21/in-defense-of-the-tea-partys-electoral-record/

I’d say you can only blame “the Tea Party” for a net loss of two Senate seats since 2010. That’s a period during which it helped send Mike Lee, Ron Johnson, Pat Toomey, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Rand Paul to the upper House—during which “establishment” candidates like Denny Rehberg, Heather Wilson, Rick Berg, Josh Mandel, George Allen, Tommy Thompson, Carly Fiorina, and Dino Rossi totally failed to win seats.

cptacek on June 4, 2014 at 10:47 AM

gonna be fun to see what happens next week in VA between Cantor and Brat. Dat Brat’s da Man!

gracie on June 4, 2014 at 10:27 AM

While it’d be sweet to see Cantor lose, even a close race should be enough to make Bonehead come to his senses.

Ted the Average on June 4, 2014 at 10:49 AM

If Cochran had any credibility and were still a man, he’d save the state the runoff expense, alas.

Schadenfreude on June 4, 2014 at 10:51 AM

This result finishes Cochran, and the establishment knows this. They won’t spend nearly as much effort now as in the primary race.

MTF on June 4, 2014 at 10:53 AM

Faux is not even mentioning Mississippi…doesn’t fit.

They only mention Iowa “where the GOPe and the TEA had such a wonderful marriage, way to go, bla, bla, bla”.

They didn’t focus on TX either…only DIABLOs, all day, every day.

Go to Hades, all DIABLOs. You ruined the land, enabling the D-rats. I hold you even more to account.

Schadenfreude on June 4, 2014 at 10:53 AM

Anyone who thinks that McDaniel will lose MS if he’s our eventual nominee is delusional. I hope McDaniel wins. He’s smart, articulate, and conservative.

GOPRanknFile on June 4, 2014 at 10:53 AM

Denny Rehberg, Heather Wilson, Rick Berg, Josh Mandel, George Allen, Tommy Thompson, Carly Fiorina, and Dino Rossi totally failed to win seats.

Virtually all those candidates lost in either solid blue or lean blue states. Rehberg was a member of the Tea Party Caucus, so some consider him establishment, but others consider him TP. Mandel was backed by the Tea Party.

GOPRanknFile on June 4, 2014 at 10:56 AM

I hope Palin does a few more campaign stops with McDaniel. Anything to make Rove’s head explode.

huckleberryfriend on June 4, 2014 at 11:00 AM

GOPRanknFile on June 4, 2014 at 10:56 AM

The best way to defeat a candidate is to say “I’m kinda sorta like him.” Goodness knows it works with kids.

You absolutely hate spinach, son? That’s okay, you can eat kale instead. It’s kinda sorta like spinach, only different!

John Hitchcock on June 4, 2014 at 11:12 AM

I hope Palin does a few more campaign stops with McDaniel. Anything to make Rove’s head explode.

huckleberryfriend on June 4, 2014 at 11:00 AM

preferably on a red white and blue Harley or maybe even a chopper..

gracie on June 4, 2014 at 11:12 AM

Denny Rehberg, Heather Wilson, Rick Berg, Josh Mandel, George Allen, Tommy Thompson, Carly Fiorina, and Dino Rossi totally failed to win seats.

Rick Berg is the only other person on the list who lost in a red state, but he had just recently won statewide there, whereas Sand, his primary opponent had lost statewide every single time he’s run.

GOPRanknFile on June 4, 2014 at 11:14 AM

Todd Akin wasn’t a tea party candidate

tcufrog on June 4, 2014 at 11:18 AM

Of course this race could get more savagely personal. This is Mississippi. We are polite to a fault… until we’re not. Both campaigns are sitting on a lot of dry powder.

Now as far as turnout dynamics go, note that no one who voted in the Dem primary yesterday will be able to vote in the GOP primary on the 24th, so whatever boost Cochran got from Dem crossovers yesterday… that’s his ceiling. And the probability that 100% of those crossovers will show up for the runoff approaches zero, meaning Cochran’s share of the vote pie will almost certainly shrink compared to what it is now.

No one who voted for McDaniel will vote for Cochran, but there are people whose support for Cochran yesterday was lukewarm, and who flipped the lever for him very unenthusiastically because they figured McDaniel couldn’t win. That calculus is dead: They now know McDaniel can win, and this will be all that’s needed for them to flip to McDaniel in the runoff. Expect McDaniel to peel off a thousand votes or so from Cochran on that dynamic alone.

A 3-point win for McDaniel is thus entirely within the realm of possibility.

greggriffith on June 4, 2014 at 11:41 AM

Ed, I think you’re downplaying the harm to the eventual nominee that could happen, especially if it’s McDaniel. There’ve been a few so-called gimme Senate races in recent years that have been lost in part due to that.

changer1701 on June 4, 2014 at 9:02 AM

I know. Like those races in Montana and North Dakota in 2012 that were LOST BY ESTABLISHMENT CANDIDATES! States Romney won by 20%+ that were lost by ESTABLISHMENT CANDIDATES! Talk about gimme races thrown away by ESTABLISHMENT CANDIDATES!

Karl Rove and the Establishment’s ESTABLISHMENT MODERATE CANDIDATES Went 0 FOR 8 in 2012! 0 FOR 8! And you want to focus on the miniscule amount of races lost by tea party candidates.

Get out of here. Go bow to the establishment some more.

tcufrog on June 4, 2014 at 9:20 AM

Both Changer and TCUfrog have valid points, depending on the state. In reliably conservative states like TX and UT in 2012, and Nebraska this year, replacing old Senators with Tea Party conservatives can help shift the Senate rightward. If McDaniel can win the MS seat this year, he has lots of years ahead of him as a Senator.

It would also be helpful to have solid Tea Party challengers in AZ and SC to take out McCain and Flimsy Graham.

But in states where Democrats are competitive or have an advantage, we need to be careful about challenging incumbent Republicans in primaries, or running Tea Party candidates who have no chance of winning against the Democrat. If Mourdock had not run in Indiana in 2012, that seat would still be Republican now. In normally-blue Delaware, we had a chance to take a seat with RINO Mike Castle, who had won statewide election to the House many times, but we were stuck with voters wondering whether Christine O’Donnell was a witch. There was a chance to take out Harry Reid in 2012, but having Sharron Angle argue for Prohibition in Las Vegas wasn’t exactly popular.

The only way to prevent Harry Reid from blocking everything that comes out of the House is to get a combination of Tea Party Republicans and Establishment Republicans elected to the Senate that adds up to 51. In some states, a Tea Partier can win, and we should vote for them. In other states, with large numbers of “moderate” voters, Establishment Republicans can attract their votes and win, while Tea Partiers scare them into voting Democrat. We need to choose our battles wisely, and have Tea Partiers and the Establishment work TOGETHER to retake the Senate.

Steve Z on June 4, 2014 at 11:46 AM

There was a chance to take out Harry Reid in 2012, but having Sharron Angle argue for Prohibition in Las Vegas wasn’t exactly popular.

I think the voting booths shutting off and turning back on in Las Vegas had more to do with Dingy Hairy’s “victory” than anything said in the campaigns.

John Hitchcock on June 4, 2014 at 11:51 AM

“Locked in a race that won’t end, Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran and tea party-backed challenger Chris McDaniel pointed toward a possible June 24 runoff after battling to a near-draw Tuesday in a primary that underscored Republican differences.”

Who wrote this, a straight C+ eighth-grader?

Yeah, yeah, I’m sorry for insulting C+ students, specifically, and eighth-graders in general.

Dusty on June 4, 2014 at 12:23 PM

McDaniel will be tied to the GOP brand, as Aiken was, and we will lose our chance to retake the Senate. Count on it

Redford on June 4, 2014 at 9:05 AM

And Cochran isn’t the GOP brand? What the hell is he then? How many decades has be been a GOP member of Congress?

Cindy Munford on June 4, 2014 at 12:36 PM

Look, this is an atypical race. You have an incumbent who is aged and looks it. He had few endorsements from in state politicians at the local level. You had a challenger who had quite a few local politicians endorse him, from local smalltown police chiefs to sitting state senators.

Sure the Tea Party and the Washington DC “Tea Party” helped plenty, but he McDaniel would not even be in the running without local politician support. Guess what, local people elected those local politicians.

Kermit on June 4, 2014 at 1:03 PM

For John Hitchcock – once you get into “GWB WAS A FLAMING LIBERAL!!!” territory, you start to make the establishment republicans look good again. Even Rand Paul knows that he’s got to appeal to more people than his father did.

Tom Servo on June 4, 2014 at 1:10 PM

gonna be fun to see what happens next week in VA between Cantor and Brat. Dat Brat’s da Man!

gracie on June 4, 2014 at 10:27 AM

Yes, for sure. Laura Ingraham did a rally last night for him and it was standing room only!

Next week will be an even bigger shocker if Cantor is defeated.

cat_owner on June 4, 2014 at 1:10 PM

Look at what Cochran has on his Twitter page:

Welcome home, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. A grateful America thanks you for your service.

https://twitter.com/SenThadCochran/status/472809214801608705

Mississippi…… vote this guy OUT in three weeks!

cat_owner on June 4, 2014 at 1:12 PM

The polling is already underway, and I think it’s 50-50 that Cochran will concede in a few short days.

matthew8787 on June 4, 2014 at 1:15 PM

But in states where Democrats are competitive or have an advantage, we need to be careful about challenging incumbent Republicans in primaries, or running Tea Party candidates who have no chance of winning against the Democrat. If Mourdock had not run in Indiana in 2012, that seat would still be Republican now. In normally-blue Delaware, we had a chance to take a seat with RINO Mike Castle, who had won statewide election to the House many times, but we were stuck with voters wondering whether Christine O’Donnell was a witch. There was a chance to take out Harry Reid in 2012, but having Sharron Angle argue for Prohibition in Las Vegas wasn’t exactly popular.

This has got to be the millionth time I’ve done this. Firstly, Mourdock had already won statewide before, so there was no reason to think he wouldn’t do it again. And having Lugar in the senate isn’t much of a, if any, improvement over a democrat.

Secondly, O’Donnell was dead even with independents in the general election. However, 20% of the “conservative in primary, republican in the general” hypocrite republicans decided that’s only the case when a moderate wins the primary and voted for Coons instead.

Thirdly, Angle won independents in Nevada by 5 points. However, 15% of the same establishment, jelly-spined hypocrites decided to vote for Reid instead of Angle.

topdawg on June 4, 2014 at 1:18 PM

Guess what, local people elected those local politicians.

Kermit on June 4, 2014 at 1:03 PM

And local people are the Tea Party. I really thought McDaniel was going to lose outright and I was prepared for it but I have to say that Atlantic article the AP linked last night was an eye opener. I am sure that Sen. Cochran has served Mississippi (and himself) well and now needs to get some much deserved rest.

Cindy Munford on June 4, 2014 at 1:26 PM

Cindy Munford on June 4, 2014 at 1:26 PM

There are two “Tea Parties” One is local groups and the other is all the DC PACs with national websites founded by political consultants who get 90+% of all the money sent donated. Looked up the FEC filing and see for yourself, but you have to go into almost each expenditure to see who owns what company.

We have a completely different scenario in LA with a supposed “TP” candidate who parachuted in from INdiana in 2012. Not a single local endorsement, not even a dogcatcher.

Kermit on June 4, 2014 at 1:37 PM

Just another twist to throw in…

There are thousands of absentee ballot still uncounted, and historically the tend to resemble very closely the results among Republican voters in Hinds County, where the capital of Jackson is located, and which historically tilts 2-1 toward Cochran.

It’s theoretically possible that once all of those votes are counted, Cochran will break the 50%+1 barrier and they’ll call the runnin’ off off.

The outcome of this, more than any new polling, will influence any Cochran decision to concede.

greggriffith on June 4, 2014 at 1:49 PM

I thought all the absentees have been counted.

matthew8787 on June 4, 2014 at 1:52 PM

Polls across Mississippi closed at 7 p.m. and we’ll be monitoring the primary results begin to roll in through the evening.

In Jackson County, election commissioner Danny Glaskox said Republican turnout has been heavy while Democratic turnout in some precincts was “non-existent.”

He said Republicans cast 400 absentee ballots in Jackson County to about 40 Democratic absentee ballots.

From Live Update last nite. Looks like absentee ballots have been factored into the totals and that there probably aren’t that many of them…at least not in the thousands …it is a primary ya know.

gracie on June 4, 2014 at 2:11 PM

If Mourdock had not run in Indiana in 2012, that seat would still be Republican now.

And if Romney hadn’t run for president in 2012, the White House would be republican right now. But shhh….don’t tell anyone, because it conflicts with the meme that only Tea Party candidates say controversial things.

xblade on June 4, 2014 at 2:16 PM

Kermit on June 4, 2014 at 1:37 PM

I’m leery of “national” Tea Parties.

Cindy Munford on June 4, 2014 at 2:18 PM

changer1701 on June 4, 2014 at 9:54 AM

You also neglect to mention NV, DE, CO, and MO, all Senate races lost by tea candidates or those who claimed that mantle, the former three at the height of the wave that ushered in the GOP House.

Speaking for the first three, here in Colorado the day after the Primary results were final the Republican Central Committee met with the TEA Party winners and demanded that they withdraw and allow the Central Committee to name their replacements. When they were told to FOAD, the state party withdrew all support for TEA Party candidates who were the official Republican nominees. In the governor’s race, they went so far as to have a prominent Republican change registration to Constitution Party and run as their candidate, funded by the Republicans in order to split the conservative vote and deliberately throw the governorship to the Democrats. That 3rd party candidate is now running for the Senate with the support of the Republican Party, by the way.

In Delaware, as O’Donnell literally was giving her primary victory speech, the head of the RSCC [Cornyn] was announcing that they would refuse to support her, and they only eventually gave her a token amount in the last week of the election. Karl Rove, with the support of the RNC spent over a month going on every news and interview show on the air badmouthing her.

In Nevada, similar things happened there.

In Missouri, Akin was not TEA Party. His primary campaign was paid for by Democrats, and the real TEA Party candidate was a Congresswoman who lost in the primary.

The TEA Party does not win them all, by any means. But considering that they have to run against the Democrats, the National Media who are part of the Democrats, and against the Republican Party who will ally with the Democrats against them; they are not doing too bad.

If Cochran ends up not supporting McDaniel if McDaniel is the nominee or openly supporting the Democrat; there is no reason for TEA Party candidates/supporters to support Institutional Republicans who attack us.

Subotai Bahadur on June 4, 2014 at 2:53 PM

Also – just an aside… but this was Mississippi’s first election with voter ID in place, and there was a record turnout. So much for “voter ID will suppress participation.”

And if it works in Mississippi, it will work anywhere.

greggriffith on June 4, 2014 at 3:58 PM

Another way to look at it is that some Cochran supporters who didn’t show because they assumed he would win may now be motivated.

But Cochran is no big loss if we keep the seat.

As suggested last night, the worst case scenario is McDaniel wins the runoff, but the criminal investigation continues. All four arrested are his supporters, one a close friend. Someone may cop a plea.

Neither McDaniel nor his campaign have been straightforward in answering questions about what they knew and when. The potential downside to an “October surprise” is real.

Adjoran on June 4, 2014 at 4:27 PM

Update: See in the HOTAIR headlines:

National Republicans say that they are “all in” for Cochran.

If Cochran had won, the RNC would be screaming that McDaniel should withdraw for the sake of “party unity”. But because McDaniel is TEA Party, they will continue their war on conservatives.

If McDaniel wins the runoff we can expect at best that the Mississippi Republican Party will withdraw all support for the Senate race and that Cochran will refuse to endorse McDaniel. That’s best case. If they follow their pattern, they will actively support the Democrat.

We owe the Republicans loyalty, why???

Subotai Bahadur on June 4, 2014 at 6:32 PM

For John Hitchcock – once you get into “GWB WAS A FLAMING LIBERAL!!!” territory, you start to make the establishment republicans look good again. Even Rand Paul knows that he’s got to appeal to more people than his father did.

Tom Servo on June 4, 2014 at 1:10 PM

That’s how you win debates? Depend on LIVs? Well, it doesn’t work here, so do try to be honest about what I said, mmkay? In other words, quit being a liar and try telling the truth. Here’s a hint: People can actually see what I wrote.

John Hitchcock on June 4, 2014 at 8:18 PM

notice the vote count that voted AGAINST GOP Estabishment Cochran is 52%

Cochran should CONCEDE 2 Save Mississippi the cost of another election

mathewsjw on June 4, 2014 at 8:21 PM

It IS NOT TRUE that Democrats can vote in Republican primaries, and vice versa, in Mississippi! Mississippi has Election Laws on their books that PREVENT THAT! Additionally, a federal Judge has already “ruled” in the past that it is ILLEGAL to do that in ANY state!!!! So, look for some REAL problems if Democrats try to vote in the upcoming Mississippi run-off primary!!!

Mississippi MS Code 23-15-575, states: “No person shall be eligible to participate in any primary election unless he intends to support the nominations made in which he participates.” Mississippi officials that that if Democrats vote in the run-off Republican Primary, then they are OBLIGATED to vote for Republicans that they voted for in the Republican run-off primary, in November. In other words, Dems HAVE to vote for the same Republican in November, that they voted for in the run-off!!! State officials state they will be watching for Democratic voters voting in the run-off primary, and who they vote for in November—they could face prison time.

DixT on June 18, 2014 at 3:47 PM