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Mississippians Are Preparing For Round 2 of McDaniel/Cochran Race

By Paul Boger | Published 05 Jun 2014 08:30am | comments
Mississippians are preparing for round two of what has been called the nastiest primary in the country. As MPB's Paul Boger reports state officials say a runoff election between State Senator Chris McDaniel and six-term incumbent Thad Cochran is scheduled for June 24th.
 
With less than two thousand votes separating Tea Party backed State Senator Chris McDaniel and long-time incumbent Thad Cochran, neither camp is willing to concede the race. But before either candidate can move on to the general election this November, Mississippians must once head to the polls to vote for a republican nominee. Kenneth Townsend is a political scientist at Millsaps College in Jackson. He says McDaniel could have an advantage going into the election.
 
"The enthusiasm has been behind the insurgent candidate, behind the Tea Party candidate, behind Chris McDaniel." says Townsend. "Thad Cochran, even though he is well respected by many in the state, I don't think many will say he's run an energetic campaign. I think that if we do have a runoff, which appears almost a certainty now, McDaniel is likely to win that."
 
Supporters, volunteers and especially donors are also gearing up for the runoff. In an election where both sides spent millions dollars on negative advertising, it would be no surprise to see the ads make a second appearance. D'Andra Orey is a Professor of Political Science at Jackson State University. He says there will be no shortage of money for either candidate. 
 
"You have Citizens United; they pumped in at least $175,000 over the last week." says Orey. "There were other conservative organizations who pumped in just as much or more."
 
Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann says any eligible voter can participate in the runoff except those that voted in the Democratic primary.  
 
"In this next election for United States Senate, only the ones that voted in the Democratic Primary will be excluded, some 100,000 or so Mississippians." Hosemann says. "The 300,000 that voted in the Republican will be eligible again as well as 1.4 million that didn't show up t vote for anybody."
 
Both McDaniel and Cochran have received 49 percent of Tuesday's votes, but needed at least 50 percent plus one to win.

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