Update 1:20 a.m.
A source close to McDaniel told Breitbart News that he is considering legal challenges over ballots. Democrats who voted for Cochran on Tuesday but voted three weeks ago in the Democratic primary in the state were not allowed to vote in Tuesday’s election.
Winner T. Cochran (i) 50.9% 189,355 C. McDaniel 49.1% 182,756
T.W. Shannon LOSES by 20 points – SMEARED BY Lankford
By Isabel Matos
While we wait for the results of the election, let’s go over six-term Senator’s last ditched efforts to draw support for a victory in the Mississippi runoff tonight. It should be called the run-out-of-time-off. 76 year old Cochran is not only out of touch and a tad out of his mind, he has prepared to do anything to win he is so out of control and desperate to stay in power. Chris McDaniel:
Seriously, folks, the Cochran campaign has reached a new low. They are attempting to steal this race with Democrat votes.
Cochran’s campaign organized an outreach to African American voters which raised eyebrows. Thirty-seven percent of the state’s population is black, the highest percentage of any state, and most are Democrats.
Even Democrat Party Chairman Rickey Cole stated:
“I’m encouraging Democrats to stay out of the Republican primary,” state Democratic Party chairman Rickey Cole, “simply because I believe that party primaries should be an opportunity for the party faithful to pick their candidate for the general election.” [Of course, he feels there is a better chance for Democrats to win if a Tea Party Conservative wins the race.]
William Widmer for The New York Times reports: Black voters may be the only path to victory left for him in a high-profile race.
“You’ve got to be willing to cross the line sometimes, and go over to some strange places for our interests.” “In tough times, you’ve got to do some unusual things,” said Bishop Ronnie C. Crudup Sr., a pastor of the New Horizon Church International in Jackson. It is a risky strategy, and one that the Cochran campaign is sensitive about, given the conservative tilt of the Republican electorate here. But it may be the only path to victory left for Mr. Cochran whose four-decade career in Congress is imperiled by a Tea Party-backed challenger, Chris McDaniel.
The “super PAC” supporting Mr. Cochran, Mississippi Conservatives, is paying African-American leaders, including Mr. Crudup, to help lift black turnout, said Pete Perry, a Republican strategist working for the group.
On another front, Absentee ballot irregularities and massive turnouts have been reported:
One can’t be sure who or what to believe but the substantial increase in absentee ballots but according to the Clarion Ledger there were just more than 1100 cast in the runoff than the election:
It’s important to understand that the June 3 absentee numbers include Democratic primary absentee ballots as well, mostly from the first and second Congressional districts. However, the Secretary of State’s office says they can’t break those numbers out. It’s impossible to judge how many Democratic absentee ballots were cast. Best guess, based on total votes cast and the percentage that came from the second congressional district, I would wager between 5 and 15 percent were Democratic votes. That would mean an additional 900-2,700 absentee ballot increase for the GOP runoff. Here’s what you can gleam from the absentee ballots:
Cochran has slight edge in absentee ballots
Looking at counties Cochran won in the primary, absentee ballots increased 14 percent or just more than 1,600 ballots. In counties where McDaniel won, the number of absentee ballots increased just more than 6,5 percent or almost 450 ballots.
Team McDaniel is not taking any chances, Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund, Freedom Works and the Senate Conservatives Fund have hired an attorney
“to ensure a free and fair election in Mississippi on June 24.”
In a press release the groups said:
“Thad Cochran and his Establishment handlers are out trolling, begging, for Democrats to cross over and vote in the Republican runoff, despite Mississippi law that clearly prohibits anyone voting in the Republican nomination process who doesn’t intend to support the GOP nominee in the general election campaign,” TPPCF Chairman Jenny Beth Martin said. “The potential for abuse and illegality is obviously huge. That’s why we’ve retained and brought in J. Christian Adams.”
They have pledged to bring in “election observers” to, they say, “observe whether the law is being followed.”
Cochran support has come from several establishment figures including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell whose Senate’s campaign arm held a fundraiser for Cochran in Washington.
Total spending in the Thad Cochran-Chris McDaniel GOP primary battle has reached at least $17.4 million, most of it from super PACs and other outside groups.
The Cochran campaign had raised about $4.5 million at last report. McDaniel had raised about $1.5 million.
Unlike in Virginia, the third candidate in the race who was losing, Thomas Carey, didn’t give a hoot about either candidate in Mississippi and did not drop out of the race before June 3rd. Had he done so, a lot of money could have been saved and voters could have been spared the mess.
155,040 49.5% Thad Cochran Incumbent 153,654 49.0 Thomas Carey 4,789 1.5
The winner tonight will face former Representative Travis Childers, “a conservative” Democrat, in November.