Lee’s Summit, June 25, 2014 – The Tea Party and the Republican Party squared off in the June 24th run-off between incumbent Mississippi Senator Thad Cochran and Challenger Chris McDaniel. The result – according to the headlines – a sound defeat, nay perhaps as high as a spanking, of the Tea Party in Mississippi. The truth may be just a little bit different.
Senator Cochran has been in office since December 27th, 1978. Prior to that Senator Cochran was in the House of Representatives from 1973 till his run for the Senate in 1978. It may not be totally unfair to say that Senator Cochran is part of the Washington Establishment after 36 years (41 years if we count his terms in the House) of being there (6 terms). The media calls him in all of the reports I’ve read preparing this post, the “pragmatist” in the race.
The vote tally as of today had 376,323 votes, with Cochran getting 191,508 (50.9%) and McDaniel getting 184,815 (49.1%) of the votes in the runoff election. The difference is 6,693 votes.
- CNN: Cochran holds off tea party challenge in runoff; Rangel claims victory
- Bloomberg BusinessWeek: Cochran Delivers Blow to Tea Party in Mississippi Race
- The Economist: The Tea Party, scalded
- US News and World Report: Cochran win in Miss. a boost to Washington establishment, blow to tea party movement
Aside from the exaggerated comments in the media, what I find most difficult to accept is that Senator Cochran reportedly reached out to Democrats to cross party lines to cast votes for Cochran. Votes that in November will not be there for him: In essence helping his opponent take on the weaker of the two candidates. I hope it does not come back to hurt the GOP chances to take over the Senate in 2014.
A report in the New York Times says “Mr. Cochran shifted his campaign message from polishing his conservative credentials to extolling his record of keeping Mississippi flush with federal cash. He also attacked Mr. McDaniel for his vows of austerity, especially in education.”
I find this equal to buying votes in the worst way. He makes the point that if you elect me, I’ll put the country in greater debt to pay you back for your votes.
Other Primaries worthy of note:
New York’s 21st District, Elise Stefanik, a former Bush aide, won the primary against Matt Doheny, 60% to 40%, with 84% of the precincts reporting, according to the Associated Press.
New York’s 22nd District, GOP Rep. Richard Hanna overcame a primary challenge defeating Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney, 53% to 47%, with 95 percent of the precincts reporting, according to the Associated Press.
Colorado’s 4th District, 2010 Senate candidate Ken Buck won the Republican primary in Colorado’s 4th District and is favored to win the open seat to replace Rep. Cory Gardner in the general election.
Colorado’s 5th District, GOP Rep. Doug Lamborn narrowly overcame a primary challenge by winning 53 percent of the vote. Bentley Rayburn, a retired Air Force general, won 47 percent. The Associated Press called the race only after 100 percent of precincts had reported.
Florida’s 19th District, businessman Curt Clawson cruised to victory in the special general election, defeating Democrat April Freeman, 67 percent to 29 percent, with 100 percent of precincts reporting.
Oklahoma’s 5th District, a six-candidate GOP field was whittled to two: State Sen. Steve Russell and Oklahoma Corporation Commissioner Patrice Douglas will head to an Aug. 26 runoff.
The Lee’s Summit Conservative