The conservative Club for Growth will go on the air Thursday in the Mississippi GOP Senate runoff, giving new backup to state Sen. Chris McDaniel in his campaign to oust Republican Sen. Thad Cochran.In stated premise, the Club for Growth once existed to promote steadfast corporate Republicanism; in practice, it has devolved to the sort of institution that shovels millions into supporting ultra-far-right figures like Chris McDaniel. And no, you don't need to pretend to be surprised by that.
The Club, one of McDaniel’s most generous financial backers, has booked airtime in the state until the June 24 runoff election, according to a source tracking the Mississippi air war. The free-market group spent about $2.5 million boosting McDaniel and attacking Cochran’s record before the first round of voting on June 3.
Cochran isn't going to go without a fight, and the Cochran camp is arguing McDaniel's far-right attack on Cochran has gotten about as much press, and therefore as many voters, as it's ever going to get.
Mr. Cochran seeks to win their June 24 runoff by tapping [his] much-larger pool of past supporters. “He’s capped out, and we’re not,” argued Henry Barbour, who’s helping direct a pro-Cochran political action committee. [...]That'd probably be what Eric Cantor's team would tell you as well, if you asked them last week. Oops.
History suggests a vast majority of people won’t bother to vote for this sort of intraparty contest — no matter how much attention it gets from political insiders or the news media. In presidential general elections, the peak events in American politics, about 6 in 10 of those eligible go to the polls. In midterm Congressional elections, fewer than half do.
McDaniel does have two big things working against him. First, the runoff is less than two weeks away; that's not a lot time for rallying further support, though having the Club for Growth doing another money drop will help greatly. Second, McDaniel has a huge mouth, and the potential for gaffes here is still larger than in any other race. The Club for Growth might want him, but much of the rest of the Republican "establishment" is sweating bullets at the possibility of a 2014 filled with candidates like McDaniel and Brat.