After a string of humbling defeats in Republican primaries this spring, the tea party’s last best hope to oust a lawmaker is in Mississippi.
But things are not going well for the movement’s Chris McDaniel, who is challenging longtime senator Thad Cochran, the Washington Post reported in a story today.
The race has been roiled over the past week by a bizarre incident in which a pro-McDaniel blogger was arrested in connection with taking an illicit photo of Cochran’s bedridden wife, Rose, who has dementia and lives in a nursing home. More arrests were made on Thursday, including a Mississippi tea party activist who is closely connected to McDaniel.
At first glance, the deeply conservative state’s Senate primary contest seems ripe for an upset. Cochran, 76, has served in Washington for as long as McDaniel, a 41-year-old state senator, has been alive. A proud and prolific earmarker when senators were freer to send pork to their states, Cochran personifies the kind of free-spending Beltway broker that grass-roots conservative voters have often revolted against.
Yet McDaniel has been unable to put the race away to deny Cochran a seventh term. He has made a series of tactical errors, while Cochran and his establishment allies — well-funded and prepared for battle — have condemned McDaniel on the airwaves.
There are few reliable public polls in Mississippi. Strategists in the state say the race has been close, with Cochran holding a slight advantage, although they sensed that McDaniel had been gaining steam before the nursing home episode.
Read the The Post story: