McDaniel: We’re challenging the election results

posted at 8:01 am on June 25, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Given the bitter nature of the runoff in Mississippi, this probably surprises no one, but it’s also unlikely to produce any further surprises. After a narrow loss to incumbent Senator Thad Cochran, Chris McDaniel refused to concede last night. Instead, he blasted Cochran’s GOTV strategy and promised a challenge to the results:

State Sen. Chris McDaniel will challenge the results of the Tuesday runoff election where 41-year incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran won by about 6,400 votes, he announced to a room of supporters here at his victory party at the Hattiesburg Convention Center late Tuesday evening.

“I want to be very, very clear: There is nothing dangerous or extreme about wanting to balance a budget,” McDaniel said in a fiery speech to supporters. There is nothing dangerous or extreme about defending the Constitution or the civil liberties therein. There is nothing strange at all about standing as people of faith for a country that we built, that we believe in. But there is something a bit strange, there is something a bit unusual, about a Republican primary that’s decided by liberal Democrats.” …

“As you know today, folks, there were literally dozens of irregularities reported all across this state,” McDaniel said. “You know why. You read the stories. You’re familiar with the problems that we have. Now it’s our job to make sure that the sanctity of the vote is upheld. Before this race ends, we have to be absolutely certain that the Republican primary was won by Republican voters. We will stand with courage, we will stand with judgment, we will stand with integrity. This is our fight conservatives. This is necessary. We are not prone to surrender, we Mississippians. A strong and sturdy people we are, a brave people we are, a people that can still lead the conservative revival in this country. We will lead the resurgence. That begins right here in Mississippi.”

Amusingly but also not surprisingly, one of the people urging the challenge is the state Democratic Party chair:

In an interview by phone with Breitbart News late Tuesday evening after the McDaniel headquarters cleared out, state Democratic Party chairman Rickey Cole said McDaniel should challenge the election results. “Clearly there was some sloppiness to say the least, and probably some failures to comply with the law,” Cole told Breitbart News.

No doubt Cole would be delighted with anything that keeps the internecine warfare going a little while longer. However, the Jackson Clarion-Ledger throws a little cold water on expectations that a challenge will change anything:

McDaniel in his speech to supporters in Hattiesburg blamed the loss on “liberal Democrats” voting in the GOP primary runoff and said, “now our job is to make sure the sanctity of this vote is upheld, make sure the Republican primary was won by Republican voters.”

Mississippi technically has an open primary system, and no party registration. It also has a statute – considered unenforceable — that says people should not vote in a party primary unless they plan to support the party’s nominee in a general election. This has been the subject of litigation and calls for closed primaries in the past. But Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann and others said that only those who voted Democratic on June 3 were prohibited from voting Tuesday.

That statute is unenforceable for good reason. It ignores the fact that the campaign will go on for several months and that more information might make a candidate a lot less attractive, for one thing. People are allowed to change their minds, after all. Besides, how would this get enforced? Ballots in primaries are cast anonymously, and in Mississippi without party registration. Even if they weren’t anonymous, how would a prosecutor go about proving that a particular voter voted for Cochran while absolutely intending to vote for Democratic nominee Travis Childers in November? It’s a foolish statute, and if that’s the basis of the challenge, it will go exactly nowhere.

Even on the nominal issue of irregularities (which occur in every election), this won’t go far anyway. Challenges and recounts usually have a chance only in extremely narrow ranges, and that means vote counts and not percentages. According to AOSHQDD, which shows 99.73% of all precincts reporting in the Mississippi runoff, Cochran has a lead of 7,214 votes, far more than a challenge can be reasonably expected to reverse. In contrast, the Minnesota recount in 2008 involved a shift of less than 600 votes — which produced lots of complaints from Republicans around the country about the scope of those changes as highly improbable at best.

The McDaniel campaign may end up rethinking this promise in the cool light of day. McDaniel has a long career ahead of him in Mississippi, and Cochran doesn’t, this win notwithstanding. Launching a quixotic challenge over party identification in an open primary won’t win McDaniel any love from the Republican Party, and might end up alienating at least a few of those people who saw him as a better alternative to the pork-barrel politics of yesterday that Cochran represents.  Better to regroup now and fight another day.

Update: Some commenters are pointing to another statute which prohibits voters who cast ballots in the Democratic primary from voting in the runoff as grounds for a challenge. Those laws apply to the voters themselves as fraudulent votes, not the results. First, since those ballots were cast anonymously, you can’t simply deduct them from Cochran. Second, because of that, you’d have to find more than the 7200 vote difference to get a judge to overturn the election. And third, the judge would have to order a new runoff using the same exact system that they used yesterday.

Judges are loathe to overturn elections, and in a state that doesn’t allow for party registration, this is an unlikely scenario for such an outcome.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 4 5 6

Bmore

listens2glenn on June 25, 2014 at 2:07 PM

bluegill, are you calling my friend, and distinguished veteran, hawkcriver, a fool? He’s the one who caught you.

kingsjester on June 25, 2014 at 2:12 PM

bluegill, are you calling my friend, and distinguished veteran, hawkcriver, a fool? He’s the one who caught you.
kingsjester on June 25, 2014 at 2:12 PM

Well, I sure wouldn’t call either one of you smart, that’s for sure. Hawk “caught” nothing. You both regularly accuse me and others of having multiple names. The fact is that I have never had any name but this one. I normally would ignore such idiotic accusations, but having multiple names is against the rules here, and I want to be sure to state the truth for the record.

I’m not worried, though, because Ed Morrissey is a smart guy and would be easily able to check and confirm that we are not the same person, just as he was able to do the last time you fools were so very convinced that I was
Cdseven.

Kingjester, why don’t you get back to your blog and quit embarrassing yourself here with lame and desperate accusations.

bluegill on June 25, 2014 at 2:19 PM

In Australia and other countries, people are required to vote. I think that’s a good idea.

http://australianpolitics.com/voting/electoral-system/compulsory-voting

jim56 on June 25, 2014 at 1:31 PM

Yes, nothing improves democracy like forcing people who are more interested in the Kardashians than the future of the country to vote. Has anyone told you that you’re smart today? Didn’t thing so.

bw222 on June 25, 2014 at 2:23 PM

If you know any black person, just ask them if saying that fried chicken can buy black votes and see what they say. Come back and tell us ok.

coolrepublica on June 25, 2014 at 1:39 PM

honey, I know black people who will cut off you fingers for a bottle of Ripple.

davidk on June 25, 2014 at 2:25 PM

Every conservative in NOvember should write in Chris McDaniel instead of whoever the republican is in their local election!

Danielvito on June 25, 2014 at 2:30 PM

In Australia and other countries, people are required to vote. I think that’s a good idea.
http://australianpolitics.com/voting/electoral-system/compulsory-voting

jim56 on June 25, 2014 at 1:31 PM

If someone is too lazy or too stupid to know how or when to vote, or couldn’t care less and doesn’t know anything about the candidates, then it’s better that they not vote.

Actually, the only people who should be able to vote are citizens who have paid taxes in the last few years.

bluegill on June 25, 2014 at 2:31 PM

Actually, the only people who should be able to vote are citizens who have paid taxes in the last few years.

bluegill on June 25, 2014 at 2:31 PM

Everyone pays some sort of tax (sales, for instance).

jim56 on June 25, 2014 at 2:34 PM

If you know any black person, just ask them if saying that fried chicken can buy black votes and see what they say. Come back and tell us ok.

coolrepublica on June 25, 2014 at 1:39 PM

Back when I was in the service, I had a black friend who would go to these areas where there were lots of black chicks going to college. He would get all the foofoo he wanted and then some buying these chicks KFC. HIS words telling me, not mine. Submitted for your pondering.

msupertas on June 25, 2014 at 2:03 PM

Don’t know if these go hand in hand. I’m just the storyteller.

msupertas on June 25, 2014 at 2:36 PM

Kingjester, why don’t you get back to your blog and quit embarrassing yourself here with lame and desperate accusations.

bluegill on June 25, 2014 at 2:19 PM

Better watch it. They might think you’re someone who posted here 3 or 4 years ago because of a dash in front of one of your posts.

jim56 on June 25, 2014 at 2:36 PM

Translation:

Ed and Hot Air don’t want pesky incumbent-challengers to try to overturn the fraudulent election wins of the status quo corrupt One-Party candidates.

Sad.

hrh40 on June 25, 2014 at 2:47 PM

I understand that you’d like to change the subject, but you said:

No. There’s no way to know if anyone voted in the Democratic primary and this election, since the votes are anonymous. So there’s no way to prove that this happened.

jim56 on June 25, 2014 at 1:35 PM

I pointed out you were wrong.

You don’t have to try to spin, just admit you were wrong. It’s alright, really.

Midas on June 25, 2014 at 1:45 PM

I actually wasn’t. It looks like you don’t have to register as a Democrat or a Republican to vote in primary elections in MS:

“Mississippi uses a mixed primary system. Voters do not have to register with a party, but they must intend to support the party nominations if they vote in the primary election”.

http://ballotpedia.org/Voting_in_Mississippi.

If that’s wrong, will someone who voted last night (or earlier in the primary in MS) let me know?

jim56 on June 25, 2014 at 2:50 PM

Popeye’s Chicken

davidk on June 25, 2014 at 2:50 PM

jim56 on June 25, 2014 at 1:31 PM

You nazi, you.

Some, when asked “rate obama from 1 to 110″ said “I give him a 5″.

“Is that good; do you like him?”

“Oh, yeah, he’s the coolest”.

Schadenfreude on June 25, 2014 at 2:54 PM

Trolls, you’re needed here.

Schadenfreude on June 25, 2014 at 2:57 PM

Popeye’s Chicken

davidk on June 25, 2014 at 2:50 PM

A black lady pushing a chicken chain. C’mon…someone….somewhere… HAS to be offended.

/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

msupertas on June 25, 2014 at 2:57 PM

davidk on June 25, 2014 at 2:57 PM

Thanks for the laughs. That could mean “from black chickens”.

Racism is NO fun.

Racists are funny, though.

Schadenfreude on June 25, 2014 at 2:59 PM

I’m glad McDaniel is going to challenge this. Of all the stunts the GOPe has pulled in the last few years, this has been the most disgraceful and disgusting one.

INC on June 25, 2014 at 3:01 PM

Schadenfreude on June 25, 2014 at 2:59 PM

Why O why did God have to make that yardbird taste so good. Ahhhh eeeeeeeeeeee….I garontee!

msupertas on June 25, 2014 at 3:02 PM

http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/campaign/210549-black-dems-defeat-tea-party-in-mississippi-gop-primary

davidk on June 25, 2014 at 2:41 PM

What I find interesting is who the author of that piece is:

Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.), who was then chief deputy majority whip of the House.

INC on June 25, 2014 at 3:05 PM

I haven’t fried chicken in years. It’s hot and messy work, but homemade is the best. It’s hard to find decent fried chicken in restaurants. If not at home, then the best place to find good fried chicken is at church dinners.

The last time I had good fried chicken was at a church dinner in NH. It was, however, fried by a friend of mine from Louisiana.

INC on June 25, 2014 at 3:09 PM

Popeye’s Chicken

davidk on June 25, 2014 at 2:50 PM

I’ll take Bojangle’s any day.

slickwillie2001 on June 25, 2014 at 3:18 PM

It’s a good theory but I don’t think it holds up in practice. People vote when and if they believe it’s in their interest to take the time to do so. And usually the people who take the time to vote read up a bit on the candidates and the ballot items before they vote.

jim56 on June 25, 2014 at 1:31 PM

You can’t be this stupid can you?

This whole thread is in the context of Cochran lying in flyers and robocalls to low-info Blacks about who he isn’t and you’re suggesting these idiots actually read up Cochran and knew they were voting for a Republican?

Let’s just get it out there! These were morons that were used as rubes by Cochran’s campaign who don’t give a damn about anything but their welfare/SNAP/Medicaid benefits.

And you’re defending them! Can you be any greater of a loser?

UnstChem on June 25, 2014 at 3:19 PM

Isn’t the democrat in this race supposed to be a blue dog conservative

redyoshii on June 25, 2014 at 3:32 PM

I don’t listen to Laura Ingraham or Glenn Beck, but both Limbaugh and Hannity said point blank vote Cochran out even if it means the Republicans don’t take the Senate. In fact Rush said McConnell was so power hungry he’s drooling. Wonder what the consensus is with the other hosts.

Marcus on June 25, 2014 at 3:34 PM

If you know any black person, just ask them if saying that fried chicken can buy black votes and see what they say. Come back and tell us ok.
coolrepublica on June 25, 2014 at 1:39 PM

How about for an Obamaphone?

Brock Robamney on June 25, 2014 at 3:40 PM

I don’t listen to Laura Ingraham or Glenn Beck, but both Limbaugh and Hannity said point blank vote Cochran out even if it means the Republicans don’t take the Senate. In fact Rush said McConnell was so power hungry he’s drooling. Wonder what the consensus is with the other hosts.

Marcus on June 25, 2014 at 3:34 PM

You listen to Rush and Sean, but not Mark?

You should re-evaluate your priorities. Some here erroneously call Mark Levin a shill for the Republicans. Nothing could be farther from the truth. There’s a reason both Rush and Sean call him “The Great One”.

UnstChem on June 25, 2014 at 3:44 PM

Palate ‘cleanser’

Schadenfreude on June 25, 2014 at 3:48 PM

God I wish I lived in Mississippi so I could write in McDaniel or vote for the democrat. If the GOPe can lie and use the national party resources and workers to get democrats to vote for their guy to crush conservatives, why should conservatives show ANY loyalty to these disgraceful and power hungry b*stards?

NWConservative on June 25, 2014 at 3:49 PM

UnstChem on June 25, 2014 at 3:44 PM

It will be interesting listening to Mark tonight. Mark has something Limbaugh and Hannity don’t have – the Landmark Legal Foundation.

bw222 on June 25, 2014 at 4:13 PM

It will be interesting listening to Mark tonight. Mark has something Limbaugh and Hannity don’t have – the Landmark Legal Foundation.

bw222 on June 25, 2014 at 4:13 PM

Not to mention few are better on the Constitution than him.

UnstChem on June 25, 2014 at 4:17 PM

You should re-evaluate your priorities. Some here erroneously call Mark Levin a shill for the Republicans. Nothing could be farther from the truth. There’s a reason both Rush and Sean call him “The Great One”.

UnstChem on June 25, 2014 at 3:44 PM

Personally, I don’t care much for Levin. Yeah, he’s a constitutional scholar, but lately he’s been pushing for a constitutional convention that is a pipe dream ahead of offering any kind of real analysis of current events. Limbaugh, on the other hand, has a real grasp on the issues of the day and his analysis is second to none. Limbaugh actually talks about obtainable solutions. Voting Cochran out would send a message to the GOPe and it’s a real goal. That Mark Steyn fills in for Limbaugh is the icing on the cake. I don’t think Levin is a shill, but he does come across as abrasive and shrill, which is a turn-off for me.

Corporal Tunnel on June 25, 2014 at 4:17 PM

Popeye’s Chicken

davidk on June 25, 2014 at 2:50 PM

Interesting fact: Both Detroit and Jackson, MS have 10 Popeye’s locations. Detroit has a population of 713,000 (82% black) and Jackson, MS has a population of 173,000 (76% black). Says a lot about Jackson.

bw222 on June 25, 2014 at 4:18 PM

Popeye’s Chicken

davidk on June 25, 2014 at 2:50 PM

Interesting fact: Both Detroit and Jackson, MS have 10 Popeye’s locations. Detroit has a population of 713,000 (82% black) and Jackson, MS has a population of 173,000 (76% black). Says a lot about Jackson.

bw222 on June 25, 2014 at 4:18 PM

That it’s closer to New Orleans?

Popeye’s is Cajun fried chicken. If anything, I’m surprised there are that many all the way up in Detroit.

There Goes the Neighborhood on June 25, 2014 at 5:21 PM

I hope McDaniel’s considers what the RINO “Be-Och” Lisa Murkowski did after she lost her primary in Alaska and runs his own “Write-In-Campaign.”

Remember she WON ! ! !

Even if he didn’t win, we know Cochran would lose.

IMO The Republican Party took multiple steps more towards its ultimate total irrelevance. The Real Conservative Party will be the 3rd Party and it is just really starting to form.

Nat George on June 25, 2014 at 6:08 PM

Mark Levin is slamming the R’s. Said he wouldn’t vote for Thad Cochran. Cochran, McConnell, Barbour, Rove, McCain and the rest of them have not denied what they did.

bluefox on June 25, 2014 at 6:17 PM

Allahpundit ‏@allahpundit 1m

Erickson’s post gets at why MS stings http://www.redstate.com/2014/06/25/the-marionettes-remain-uncut/ … It’s not that one ideology beat another. It’s that $ w/o ideology won.

Bmore on June 25, 2014 at 6:36 PM

“We have just learned that the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) spent $175,000 on automated phone calls and media production to help Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS) defeat conservative Chris McDaniel (R-MS) in tomorrow’s Republican primary runoff election.
The NRSC has been open about its support for Cochran but this is the first time they have spent the party’s money in the race.

And it is the first independent expenditure made by the NRSC in any race for the 2014 election cycle.

Mitch McConnell and Jerry Moran are not fighting for principle. They are fighting to protect their own power.”

Sincerely,

Ken Cuccinelli II
President, Senate Conservatives Fund
@KenCuccinelli / @SCF

Please share this on Facebook and Twitter.

bluefox on June 25, 2014 at 6:37 PM

25,000 to 35,000. You don’t say. The final difference in the tally was?

Bmore on June 25, 2014 at 6:48 PM

6,693 votes

topdawg on June 25, 2014 at 6:53 PM

Hellfire! I may not be the best one at HA for math equations and such. However……………..

Bmore on June 25, 2014 at 7:32 PM

Wither the conservative movement?Continue to exhibit the derangement of allowing continued abuse at the hands of the GOP.”It’s okay officer,I just tripped,fell,and broke my arm,but I’ll be okay in time to vote Republican in the general”,or recognize the advancement of a conservative agenda is no longer synonomous with that of the Republican Party.It is absolutely pathetic to read posts by “conservatives” who urge other conservatives to come back in November and vote for the likes of Thad Cochran and Lindsey Graham.Because these two and their ilk have done so much to advance a conservative agenda,right?And when these pathetic frauds are re-elected and continue their abuse and betrayal,these very same “Republican in the general no matter what” psychotics are the first to bitterly complain about it.Stupid is as stupid does.America is in peril! If you are a conservative and love this country then stop the madness.

redware on June 25, 2014 at 7:45 PM

Are we going to recount until they win? They did it in Wisconsin.

mixplix on June 25, 2014 at 8:00 PM

35,000 Democrats crossed over and voted for Cochran, per Chris McDaniel on Mark Levin now.

bluefox on June 25, 2014 at 8:12 PM

Karl Rove tweeting out now the Democrats are “scared” they’re going to lose the Senate with a Cochran win! People nearly unanimous in telling the idiot he should know darn well it was the Democrats who voted for him.

Marcus on June 25, 2014 at 8:38 PM

Those of you who oppose the establishment of a conservative third party-what is your alternative?How many more years of abuse should we have to take?How many more times must we elect your “lesser of two evils” Republicans before it is too late to stop the advancement of the socialist agenda?Well it may not matter too much longer.More and more conservatives are tuning out and staying home.Romney should have been a slam dunk against a floundering economy and an unpopular Obamacare.Didn’t happen.Why? Too many conservatives stayed home.Too many people who despised Obama didn’t trust the GOP.Now 2 years later,what has the GOP done?Alienated more conservatives and more would be-should be GOP voters.Your party may not need the establishment of a third party to destroy it,it’s doing too good a job of destroying itself.Enjoy being abused while it still lasts!Withdrawal will be painful,but I am sure that the Obamacare that will never be repealed will cover the cost of your therapy.

redware on June 25, 2014 at 8:59 PM

Ted Cruz congratulated Cochran on his victory.Ted Cruz can go to hell.Lost my support.

redware on June 25, 2014 at 9:18 PM

Let them burn. Don’t vote for Cochran.

Make the DIABLOs join their real party, the D-latrine-rats.

Schadenfreude on June 25, 2014 at 10:18 PM

Mark Levin is slamming the R’s. Said he wouldn’t vote for Thad Cochran. Cochran, McConnell, Barbour, Rove, McCain and the rest of them have not denied what they did.

bluefox on June 25, 2014 at 6:17 PM

Hannity just told his viewers not to.

Cochran will go down.

Schadenfreude on June 25, 2014 at 10:20 PM

Forget taking the Senate. The new plan is to punish the Republicans that offend us!

claudius on June 25, 2014 at 10:54 PM

Who cares if Obama packs the courts, and Harry Reid decides what comes up for a vote?

claudius on June 25, 2014 at 10:57 PM

Forget taking the Senate. The new plan is to punish the Republicans that offend us!

claudius on June 25, 2014 at 10:54 PM

.
The “Tea Party” plan/agenda is to nominate non-progressive candidates who are of a higher level of degree of ‘conservative ideology’ (as they define it), or BUST.
.
No compromise … no “meeting somewhere in the middle” …

Higher level of degree of ‘conservative ideology’, or BUST.

listens2glenn on June 26, 2014 at 12:10 AM

Can McDaniel write-in? Wouldn’t that separate the democrat base from the Cochranites?

virgo on June 26, 2014 at 1:19 AM

The one flyer that sums up the GOPe perfectly. HT KJ.

Bmore on June 26, 2014 at 8:24 AM

Can McDaniel write-in? Wouldn’t that separate the democrat base from the Cochranites?

virgo on June 26, 2014 at 1:19 AM

Write-ins are tricky. He should run as an independent.

Schadenfreude on June 26, 2014 at 12:58 PM

If Reps can take over Senate control without Cochran, we should do so.

DaMav on June 27, 2014 at 12:21 AM

Comment pages: 1 4 5 6