Incumbent Thad Cochran wins over tea partier McDaniel in Mississippi

By Lynn R. Mitchell

In a tight race, Republican incumbent Thad Cochran pulled it out Tuesday night for a win with 51 percent over tea party candidate Chris McDaniel’s 49 percent.

From The Hill (see Cochran topples tea party in surprising Mississippi turnaround):

Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) orchestrated a stunning comeback over primary challenger Chris McDaniel on Tuesday night thanks to an unusual combination of African-American support and GOP establishment might.

Cochran pulled out a narrow victory, taking 51 percent of the vote to McDaniel’s 49 percent when The Associated Press called the razor-thin race, with 98 percent of precincts reporting. His win takes Mississippi off the map for Democrats, who saw an opening in the deep-red state if the controversial McDaniel, a state senator, had nabbed the nomination.

Reports of crossover voting are reminiscent of what happened in Virginia’s 7th Congressional District race except crossovers were voting against the incumbent Eric Cantor. In Mississippi, a reporter noted she had talked with voters who said they recognized that Thad Cochran’s cloud in D.C. brought home the big bucks to their state, something that was lacking in Virginia when the tea party decided to primary Cantor who is Majority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives, a position Virginia may never see again in my lifetime.

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