By Mary Anna Mancuso
Clash Daily Guest Contributor
It was being called the “Southern Showdown” and yesterday all eyes were on Mississippi as incumbent Senator Thad Cochran took on Tea Party candidate Chris McDaniel in a primary runoff. Earlier this month, McDaniel narrowly beat Cochran in the primary but failed to get over 50% of the vote, forcing a runoff, which left a lot of people to wonder if the Tea Party upset in Virginia will spill over into Mississippi.
Two weeks ago, the GOP establishment was rocked when House Majority Leader, Eric Cantor lost to Tea Party opponent and college professor, Dave Brat by 10 percentage points in the Virginia primary.
This loss caused many to wonder if the Tea Party had gained traction and would send a ripple effect into other primaries across the country, most notably the primary runoff in Mississippi between six term incumbent, Thad Cochran and Tea Party darling, Chris McDaniel.
Top analysts argued Cantor’s loss would inject new energy into McDaniel’s campaign, causing supporters to turn out in droves on June 24th to oust incumbent Senator Cochran. All signs pointed to a huge upset for Senator Cochran, heading into the runoff, McDaniel had a 8 point lead in the polls. The numbers fell in McDaniel’s favor, but his win was contingent on voters showing up to the polls.
Given history, primaries races have a tough time turning out voters, but primary runoffs are even more difficult at getting people to the polls. Primaries naturally have a low turn out, but primary runoffs tend to be more difficult in getting people to show up and vote. In 168 primary runoffs between 1994 and 2012, all but 6 showed a decline in turnout. Yesterday proved to be no exception, Senator Cochran won by a narrow margin of 1.6%.
Yesterday’s victory for the GOP in Mississippi proved Cantor’s loss was an outlier, and its going to take a lot more than one loss in Virginia to rock the solid foundation of the Republican party this election season.
Originally published on Political Hype
After innovating several successful social media campaigns, she was named one of Florida’s up and coming conservatives by the top political blog in Florida, “The Shark Tank.” Today, Mancuso hosts a lecture series called “Politics 3.0” which focuses on how social media has changed the political landscape.
After receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Brockport College, Mancuso obtained a Master’s degree in Political Science with a dual concentration in American Politics and International Relations from Long Island University. Her background is in communications with a focus on online social media. Previously she has worked at the New York Bureau of Fox News, NBC-Universal, and as the Deputy Communications Director for the Republican Party of Virginia.