Mississippi Senate primary ‘ground zero’ for battle for Republican party


As expected, the battle for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat held by Sen. Thad Cochran in Mississippi came down to the wire. Neither of the top two finishers received 50 percent of the vote in the June 3 primary and appear headed for a June 24 runoff.

Stu Rothenberg, a political analyst who has become a fixture at the Delta Council annual meeting in Cleveland, Miss., in recent years, declined to predict the winner of the race at last Friday's (May 30) event, saying only he thought the race between Cochran and Tea Party-backed challenger Chris McDaniel would be "competitive."

During his presentation to members of the Delta 1000 prior to the annual meeting, Rothenberg was asked why so many Mississippians were supporting McDaniel given how much Cochran had done to help farmers and other Mississippians during his 36 years of service in Congress.

Rothenberg, who described the Mississippi primary battle between Cochran and McDaniel as “Ground Zero” for an ongoing debate between the party’s "traditional" and Tea Party factions, used an anecdote to explain how many voters now believe government has become too expensive and too intrusive and must be reduced. 

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