(CNN) – Hillary Clinton applauded efforts in a Republican Senate runoff election in Mississippi to reach out to voters outside its usual voting bloc.
Clinton said Monday the contest between incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran and tea party-backed challenger Chris McDaniel "was of historical importance because the Republican Party of Mississippi expanded its base."
Forced into a runoff election after a GOP primary was too close to call, Cochran's campaign utilized anti-McDaniel sentiment in a traditionally Democratic voting group to sway the tight contest in his favor.
Clinton, a likely 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, suggested politicians from all ideological backgrounds could learn from Cochran's tactics.
Clinton said the longtime Republican senator "reached out to Democrats and particularly black Democrats and said, 'Join with us, Thad Cochran is a better choice.' And they succeeded."
McDaniel has refused to concede the race, citing "hundreds" of voting irregularities and sharply criticizing his opponent's rallying of Democrats, who, in Mississippi, are allowed to vote in any party's contest as long as they only vote in one.
Clinton made the comments at the Aspen Ideas Institute in Colorado where she participated in a public interview as a part the rollout of her new memoir, "Hard Choices."