The Republican U.S. Senate primary race in Mississippi between Thad Cochran and Chris McDaniel has been portrayed as a battle of the traditional Republicans versus the insurgent Tea Party. It ended in a virtual draw. There will be a runoff. But even that won’t establish the “trend” that so many believe they see.
Contrary to much media, Mississippi is not on fire and there is no new outbreak of the Civil War there. (But there’s plenty of media making that trite comparison.)
Sen. Cochran is a longtime Republican soldier. He says in so many words that he is weary. And he might as well have lost outright this past week except for some blogger who allegedly broke into a nursing home and filmed Cochran’s invalid wife and put at least one image on the Internet. This hurt McDaniel’s candidacy.
The take from all this is that Mississippi was, is, and will for some time continue to be a conservative state. Neither Cochran nor McDaniel is going to change that. Many pundits miss that the Republican primary in the Magnolia State is, in important ways, like a glorified state party convention. It’s misleading for analysts to read too much into this race and try to apply its “lessons” to other regions. 

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