Challenger goes up with first spot in Mississippi Senate primary battle
April 22nd, 2014
03:39 PM ET
8 months ago

Challenger goes up with first spot in Mississippi Senate primary battle

(CNN) - A Republican state senator in Mississippi, who has mounted a primary challenge against U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran, touts his conservative credentials in first campaign television commercial.

The ad from Chris McDaniel comes six weeks before he faces off against the six-term incumbent in Mississippi's GOP primary. Cochran's campaign has already gone up with five spots over the past two months.

McDaniel is considered to have the best chance of any of the primary challengers from the right who are trying to unseat incumbent GOP senators this year.

Key races to watch in 2014

The race has attracted a lot of attention both in Mississippi and across the country, and has seen a bunch of spending by outside groups.

In the commercial, McDaniel appears to take a shot at Cochran, saying near the top of the spot that "our politicians in Washington have forgotten our conservative Mississippi values."

The candidate goes on to say where he stands on some key issues: "Prayer in public school: Yes. Obamacare: No. Second Amendment rights: Absolutely. More wasteful spending: Not a chance. That's the type of constitutional conservatism we need in the Senate."

The campaign described the ad buy as "significant" and said the commercial would run statewide "on cable and broadcast."

While this is McDaniel's first paid ad on TV, he's enjoyed the support of two D.C.-based groups with a history of backing conservative challengers in GOP primaries. Both the Club for Growth and Senate Conservatives Fund have gone up with spots that tout the challengers and are critical of Cochran.

McDaniel will appear at two rallies this week hosted by Tea Party Express, one of the largest and most influential of the national tea party organizations. He's also been endorsed by 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who remains influential with many grassroots conservatives.

McDaniel recently made some national headlines after controversial clips from old episodes of a radio program he once hosted were unearthed.

Cochran's firepower

Cochran's team has been running ads this month that tout his conservative record and slam McDaniel for his views on government assistance programs and post-Hurricane Katrina disaster relief in the state.

And Cochran is also getting assistance from Mississippi Conservatives PAC, a pro-Cochran outside group that recently went up with a TV commercial accusing McDaniel of flip-flopping on the issues. The group says it has spent $650,000 to run that ad and two others.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is also running spots critical of McDaniel.

Political handicappers say Cochran, one of five remaining GOP senators facing a primary challenger (Sen. John Cornyn of Texas already won his primary), is the most likely to get pushed out of Congress by a fellow Republican.

"McDaniel has the best chance of any anti-establishment Senate hopeful to knock off an incumbent, and the defeat of Thad Cochran would send shock waves through both the national media and the Republican Party," wrote Stuart Rothenberg, editor and publisher of the nonpartisan Rothenberg Political Report.

Cochran announced in December he would run for a seventh term, about two months after McDaniel threw his hat in the ring.

Cochran raised about three times as much money as McDaniel during the first three months of this year.

CNN's Dana Davidsen contributed to this story


Filed under: 2014 • Mississippi • Senate • Senate Primaries • Senate Race
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Tom l

    Sniffit,
    No crocodile tears. I just feel sorry for someone who feels that' way. And your comment about how there is more racism today says it all but when everything in the world revolves around race and every consideration is seen through the eyes of race like you do, your comment makes perfect sense. You have proven that any comment t that is ever made always has a racial tone to it. The true enabler is you. I have never said that there isn't racism. I have only said that it is nowhere near what you make it out to be....unless you are all consumed with race. Which I'm not. I don't care about the skin pigmentation of an individual bit you clearly do care

    April 22, 2014 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  2. Ol' Yeller

    Ah, the family values candidate. Good as Gold and sinless as they come.
    Until he gets caught red handed with cocaine, or his tongue down a married staffer's throat, or utilizing the wide stance in the bus station john, or hiking the old Appalachian trail, or.... .

    April 22, 2014 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  3. Thomas

    Being a republican in the South means family values ?

    And with a heavy weight like Sarah Palin in your closet , you can't go wrong !

    April 22, 2014 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  4. Gurgyl

    Vote straight democratic ticket. Republicans ban your SS, Medicare, now Healthcare.

    April 22, 2014 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  5. Silence DoGood

    "Prayer in public school: Yes."
    ----------
    I agree with prayer in school. We should start each day by asking Mighty Zeus to rain thunder bolts down on our enemies.

    April 22, 2014 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  6. it must be said

    Maybe the Democrat can get Alex Sink to move to Mississippi from Florida to run for this seat so she can continue her massive string of losses. Guinness Book of World Records should take note.

    April 22, 2014 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  7. Waldo Lydecker

    Nice family! As a Republican, do you have a cocaine problem? Mistress? Enjoy young boys? Just Askin'

    April 22, 2014 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  8. ThinkAgain: Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    McDaniel: "Prayer in public school: Yes."

    Follow-up: Ignorant of the C O N S T I T U T I O N. Yes.

    And just what are your "conservative values," bub? Cutting help to the most vulnerable among us? Check out Matthew 25:40 for exactly what kind of people support gop economic policies.

    April 22, 2014 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  9. ThinkAgain: Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    Oh, look, his kids and wifey-poo all where patriotic colors! They MUST be real Americans!

    *gag*

    April 22, 2014 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  10. Dead Bear

    So prayer in public schools and Second Amendment rights are the biggest issues concerning the people of Mississippi? Mark down another one on the list of states I'll never set foot in.

    April 22, 2014 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  11. Dead Bear

    Ps. His children of different ages are wearing matching outfits. How cornball can you get? Never mind! He's a Tea Party patriot. I answered my own question.

    April 22, 2014 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  12. Tampa Tim

    it must be said
    Maybe the Democrat can get Alex Sink to move to Mississippi from Florida to run for this seat so she can continue her massive string of losses. Guinness Book of World Records should take note.
    ---–
    Ever hear of Mittens Romney? How about Rick Santorum? Maybe Newt, Scott Brown, or the Cooch?

    April 22, 2014 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  13. Tampa Tim

    Sniffit – Please don't waste your time trying to reason with pajama boy.

    April 22, 2014 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |