Thad Cochran allies gird for battle against McDaniel in runoff

Several advisers, speaking candidly and anonymously, said that competing in the June 24 runoff will likely require the campaign to shift resources from television and radio advertising into pure get-out-the-vote operations. It will mean raising concerns about McDaniel’s electability and delivering an issue-driven message about what McDaniel’s policy views would really mean for Mississippi.

Riskiest of all, it will involve reaching out to casual voters – including independents and Democrats – to swell the electorate with Mississippians who may not have participated in this week’s first round of voting. Mississippi allows crossover voting in primaries, though voters who already cast ballots in Democratic primaries this week are barred from participating in the runoff.

Former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, the onetime national Republican Party chairman who is one of Cochran’s foremost champions, said the senator will dislodge McDaniel supporters and “expand the electorate” with a focus on kitchen-table issues. He said it was essential for Mississippians to understand what McDaniel’s anti-government, anti-appropriation views would mean in practice – starting with the state legislator’s stated opposition to federal education spending.