Veteran U.S. Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi narrowly defeated challenger Chris McDaniel in a bitterly-fought Mississippi Republican Senate primary election. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Veteran U.S. Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi narrowly defeated challenger Chris McDaniel on Tuesday (June 25) in a high-profile runoff election that pitted the Republican party's old guard against its anti-establishment Tea Party movement. The bitterly-fought Mississippi Republican Senate primary election overshadowed other primary contests across the country. It was seen as a multimillion-dollar referendum on the direction of the party as it tries to win control of the U.S. Senate in the November congressional elections. "And what we have tonight... is the consensus for more and better jobs for Mississippi workers, the military force and the capacity to defend the security interests of the United States," Cochran said in his acceptance speech. Cochran, 78, has steered hundreds of billions of federal dollars to his impoverished state over a four-decade career in Congress, and courthouses and research centers throughout the state bear his name. McDaniel argued that Cochran's nuts-and-bolts approach is out of step with voters in his deeply conservative state and promised to take a more confrontational approach to President Barack Obama and his Democratic allies in Washington. Cochran won in part thanks to an unusual strategy of appealing to the state's heavily Democratic African-American voters, who were able to vote in the runoff as long as they had not voted in the June 4 Democratic primary.