Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Behind the Ad: Sen. Thad Cochran is a very conservative fellow. In case you didn't know

By Richard K. Barry

Who: The Sen. Thad Cochran (R) reelection campaign

Where: Mississippi

What's going on: Well, Sen. Cochran seems to have himself in a knock down drag out fight for the GOP Senate nomination in Mississippi. Despite a very conservative recored, he is, as The Hill describes him, "seen as the most vulnerable incumbent facing a primary challenge."
State Sen. Chris McDaniel (R) swept the endorsements of national conservative groups early on in his race. They’re hopeful that Cochran’s long tenure and rustiness on the campaign trail, coupled with a career built on bringing federal money back to the state, will cause him to fall in the June primary.

The narrator in the ad says, however, that "there’s 'only one candidate for U.S. Senate' who’s been endorsed by the NRA, and voted 'against ObamaCare 100 times,' been endorsed by Gov. Phil Bryant (R) and has a 100 percent pro-life voting record, according to the National Right to Life Committee."

That candidate is Sen. Thad Cochran, though, apparently that may not make him conservative enough in Mississippi.

McDaniel, running with the support of the Tea Party establishment, is using the Washington insider tag against Cochran, much as Mitch Bevin is doing against Mitch McConnell in Kentucky. 

While McConnell is unlikely to lose the nomination, Cochran may, which could make things interesting for the Democrats, who have tapped former U.S. Rep. Travis Childers.

That doesn't mean it would be a walk in the park for Democrats to go up against McDaniel, only that they might have a shot if not running against an incumbent first elected in 1978. 

Where have we seen Tea Party candidates knock off Republican incumbents only to trip over the own tongues in the general election? Let me think. 

Grade: Not much to see here. It's a strangely necessary ad considering that the incumbent is being painted as not conservative enough. A necessary nothing burger, if you will. Gets a job done, I suppose. C+

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