A runoff election is scheduled in less than two weeks between tea-party favorite Chris McDaniel and incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., and if Tuesday’s defeat of House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor by tea-party candidate David Brat was an earthquake for the GOP, the Mississippi primary could be an aftershock.
A poll by ccAdvertising has McDaniel leading Cochran by a single percentage point, 32 percent to 31 percent. But a huge 37 percent remains undecided.
The poll found voters who view President Obama favorably choose Cochran 32 percent to 23 percent, while critics of Obama favor McDaniel 40 percent to 31 percent.
Likewise, among Obamacare supporters, Cochran is favored 30 percent to 22 percent, while opponents of Obamacare like McDaniel, 45 percent to 28 percent.
Republicans, independents, tax critics and pro-lifers all favored McDaniel by margins as much as 45 percent to 13 percent, which was the result among independents.
As WND reported, McDaniel won 49.5 percent of the vote and Cochran garnered 49 percent. However, a runoff is required because neither candidate reached 50 percent.
A third candidate, Thomas Carey, got 1.5 percent.
Richard Viguerie, known as the “funding father” of the conservative movement for his innovative work, says the Mississippi race is significant nationally.
Viguerie, author of “Takeover: The 100-Year War for the Soul of the GOP and How Conservatives Can Finally Win It,” believes McDaniel is the right man for the job.
Published by WND Books in April, Viguerie’s “Takeover” documents how a century-long civil war within the GOP – a case of Establishment v. Conservative – is building to a climax.
According to Viguerie, Cochran is “one of the least distinguished members of the Senate.” Often associated with pork-barrel projects, “he has spent a 36-year career … feeding at the taxpayer-funded trough instead of fighting for conservative principles.”
In 2010, Citizens Against Government Waste named Cochran the top pork-barrel spender in the Senate with a total of 240 earmarked projects worth $490.2 million.
“Takeover: The 100-Year War for the Soul of the GOP and How Conservatives Can Finally Win It” is available now at the WND Superstore.
With Americans weary of government spending and overreach, and approval ratings of Congress and the president at historic lows, the time is ripe to change the political landscape, Viguerie contends.
When the results of the primary were reported, tea-party leaders called McDaniel’s success in forcing a runoff a victory.
Cantor’s loss to Brat was by more than 11 percentage points, even though the majority leader outspent his challenger by a margin of 25 to 1. Cantor dropped $5 million on his campaign, or $166 per vote, against Brat’s $200,000, or $5.70 per vote.
Brat won the primary with 55.6 percent to Cantor’s 44.4 percent.
Fueled by opposition to Cantor’s stance on immigration, Brat had gained national attention as a threat to the incumbent’s hold on the largely Republican 7th Congressional district.
The House majority leader won his 2012 primary with 79 percent of the vote against a political novice with no money.
Brat accused Cantor of supporting amnesty for illegal aliens, pointing to his support of legal status for illegal immigrant children now pouring across the U.S.-Mexico border.
“Once you announced that kids are welcome, they’re going to head in,” Brat told Breitbart News on Sunday.
Last week, in a Richmond Times Dispatch op-ed, Brat called Cantor the “No. 1 cheerleader in Congress for amnesty.”
Cantor, a seven-term incumbent, attempted to portray Brat as a “liberal college professor.” Brat had the backing of author and columnist Ann Coulter and radio host Laura Ingraham.
L. Brent Bozell, chairman of the conservative group ForAmerica, told the Washington Post Cantor’s loss “is an apocalyptic moment for the GOP establishment.”
“The grassroots is in revolt and marching,” he said.