For the first time in 30 years, turnout during the Mississippi Senate runoff was 10% higher than the primary:
But conventional wisdom also went down to defeat Tuesday night. Turnout was nearly 10 percent higher than it was in the first round earlier this month. And a man who had spent 42 years in Congress and once considered not running for a seventh term emerged victorious, signaling that seniority in Washington and what it brings still resonates with voters, even in a conservative, Southern state like Mississippi.
Still, two fundamentals of elections held true: campaigns matter, and so do voters.
During the runoff, the Cochran campaign cultivated support from African-American voters who typically vote Democratic, convincing them that the incumbent Republican would serve them better than a conservative one, especially on issues like education and federal spending. (Voters can cross party lines in Mississippi primaries.)
Operating under the assumption that many of the senator’s supporters stayed home on June 3 because they did not realize how vulnerable he was, Cochran’s camp also invested in an extensive get-out-the-vote effort. In a campaign with a retro feel to it, Cochran and his team worked their personal networks to reach these voters — and it paid off.
Regardless, State Senator Chris McDaniel, the primary challenger, is considering a legal challenge.
While many in the political sphere will try to suggest that the Tea Party is directly impacted by their favored candidate not winning, it seems to me that the bottom line here is plain politics. As a campaign, you either can move enough people to vote for you, or you can’t.
In other words, the GOP Establishment got their mission accomplished, but that’s not to say — as is pretty obvious by the linked articles in this posting — that the political landscape is all about them. Clearly, it’s not, especially if you have to convince your adversary to vote for you, under the auspices that the adversary of my adversary is my friend — at least in this specific situation.