What People Are Saying About McDaniel’s Historic Win

Winners: Chris McDaniel: No, the conservative state Senator didn’t beat Sen. Thad Cochran outright in the Mississippi GOP primary but he a) got more votes than a six-term incumbent and b) will be favored in a low(er) turnout runoff on June 24 in which his conservative base is more likely to turn out.  McDaniel is now in the catbird’s seat to win the GOP nomination, and be the Magnolia State’s next Senator. (Chris Cillizza, Washington Post, 06/04/14)

Losers: Thad Cochran: Cochran ran a (mostly) bad campaign, saved only by the herculean efforts of the Barbour family — Haley, Henry and Austin — to keep him above water. Cochran seemed out of his depth on the trail — read this brutal assessment of his candidacy by the Atlantic’s Molly Ball — and extremely rusty as a candidate (to put it nicely). Now he enters a three week runoff in which he starts the race as a decided underdog. (Chris Cillizza,Washington Post, 06/04/14)
“That is not a great scenario for Cochran,” said Jennifer Duffy, who analyzes Senate races for the non-partisan Cook Political Report. (USA Today, 06/04/14)
“I think a run-off probably plays to McDaniel’s advantage, probably just because of low turnout,” said Henry Barbour, who created the Mississippi Conservatives super PAC, which spent nearly $1.7 million on Mr. Cochran’s behalf.  (Washington Times, 06/04/14)
“It appears Cochran will not speak tonight. You can bet that will be a storyline. Won’t inspire his base in runoff.” (Sam Hall, Clarion-Ledger, 06/03/14)
Most observers expect McDaniel to prevail in the runoff election.  For one thing, he’s got the edge in energy, both personally and among supporters. (Human Events, 06/04/14)
Cochran backers acknowledged ahead of Tuesday’s vote that a runoff would be an alarming prospect, one that would likely force the senator to compete with an even smaller group of voters that skews still further to the right. (Politico, 06/03/14)
If Sen. Thad Cochran didn’t win the race out-right last night, how can he survive a three-week period of overtime? That is the question top Republicans are asking today. (ABC News, Jeff Zeleny, 06/04/14)