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June 04, 2014

The Runoff In Mississippi And Why It's Important

Chris McDaniel came with in a few votes (maybe 2,000 or so out of the approximately 306,000 votes cast) of ousting longtime incumbent Thad Cochran last night. As you may recall, this has been a nasty race even by the low standards one has come to expect from politics in general. The reason is simple, this is the best chance for the "tea party" to claim the scalp of sitting establishment Senator.

How establishment is Cochran? Here's longtime House GOP leadership staffer and now self-described bi-partisan "Super Lobbyist" John Feehery reacting to the results last night.

That's exactly the kind of mindset that pervades DC. Politicians are judged on their ability to extract money from you and give it to someone else. Scalp hunting isn't simply ego driven or designed to make people feel good. It's about changing the Republican party. If the conservative insurgent groups don't actually ever win any seats and take out big spending appropriators like Cochran (from blood red states like Mississippi no less) nothing will ever change. It's a long shot that will change even if guys like McDaniel win but it's the only shot.

So now the two campaigns are basically broke and have to fight a runoff to be held 3 weeks from yesterday. Groups on both side will probably start pouring money into the race today but the interesting question is will groups like the National Republican Senatorial Committee continue to attack McDaniel even though he's likely to be their nominee in just a few weeks since challengers tend to win runoffs pretty easily (due to enthusiasm gap among supporters)? It will be very interesting to see how they play this.


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posted by DrewM. at 10:11 AM

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