By Lynn R. Mitchell
Thad Cochran’s win in Mississippi Tuesday sounds like Dave Brat’s win in Virginia … courting Democrats and others:
There is no Republican primary in Mississippi.
That’s because state law allows any Democrat who didn’t vote in the Democratic primary (which means most Democrats) to vote in the Republican primary…and they did. In fact, Sen. Thad Cochran vigorously pursued Democrat votes, and if anecdotal turnout figures are correct, he got them in numbers adequate to squelch the insurgent campaign of state Sen. McDaniel.
A big difference in the reactions of the two who lost, however. While Majority Leader Eric Cantor was gracious in losing and threw his support behind Brat, Chris McDaniel is refusing to concede and has threatened a recount. Politico wrote (see Defiant Chris McDaniel declines to concede in speech to reporters):
[Supporters] cheered his defiance and chanted “Write Chris In!” as he took the stage and calling out “It’s not over Chris” and “We’re not going with Thad.”
McDaniel supporters quickly moved to consider legal challenges based on reported voting irregularities.
Senate Conservatives Fund’s Ken Cuccinelli [who lost the Virginia gubernatorial election in November 2013] hung up on a POLITICO reporter when asked if they would consider challenging the result in court.
Senate Conservatives Fund donated to the McDaniel campaign.
The tea party lost all five primaries Tuesday night (see Jennifer Rubin’s The tea party comes up dry in the Washington Post) which seemed to confirm UVa political professor Larry Sabato’s prediction that Congressman Cantor’s loss was an outlier and not a harbinger of what was to come (see Sabato Crystal Ball: ‘The House Majority Leader’s shocking loss is more an outlier than a harbinger).
Jennifer Rubin concluded in her article:
After Tuesday’s results, there does not appear to be a single incumbent Republican who is in real danger of losing in November. That is the good news for the GOP. The better news is that diverse, mainstream and tolerant candidates have a place in the party.
WINNERS: The “establishment,” diversity in the GOP, gay marriage, immigration reform, good candidate selection.
LOSERS: The tea party, anti-immigration rhetoric, extreme rhetoric, talk show hosts.
When I successfully ran for Republican Party of Virginia’s State Central Committee ten years ago, voter registration by party was my platform. SCC was in agreement; the legislature was not. Mine was not the only effort over the years that was dismissed. It is time for voter registration by party (see Poll: Cantor won among Republicans, lost among ‘others’ including Dems).