Skip to comments.Black Voters Saved Thad Cochran & GOP Establishment. Here's What Republicans Owe Them In Return
Posted on 06/25/2014 11:17:41 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
Chris McDaniel, the arch-conservative state senator who unexpectedly lost his primary runoff election yesterday to unseat Mississippi Senator Thad Cochran, is dead right: The race was decided by non-Republicans. And not just that, but a certain type of non-Republicans taking advantage of the state's open-primary system: African-Americans, or, as McDaniel referred to them in his defiant non-concession speech, liberal Democrats, which appears to be the de-racialized code word of choice for some conservative Republicans when talking about black voters.
The evidence is in the maps and numbers. Turnout was up statewide compared with the June 3 primary in which McDaniel narrowly beat Cochran, but fell just shy of the 50 percent share necessary to avoid a runoff. But the spike in turnout tended to be the greatest in the states heavily black counties, as this graph by election-data guru Charles Franklin shows. As the New York Times's Nate Cohn notes, the county with the largest share of black voters in the entire country, tiny Jefferson County, saw its turnout jump 91 percent. In larger Hinds County, which Cochran won by fewer than 6,000 votes on June 3, turnout jumped so much that he won it by nearly 11,000 votes yesterday. As the NBC First Read crew put it, In a race that Cochran won by 6,000 votes, thats pretty much your ballgame there.
It is hard to overstate the significance and historical ironies of black Mississippians crossing party lines to rescue a senior member of the states Republican establishment. Voting patterns are more divided by race in Mississippi than anywhere else in the country, to a degree that is reminiscent of ethnically-based parties in the developing world. The states black voters are as reliably Democratic as anywhere, but there are also more of them than in any other statemore than 37 percent of the populationmaking their monolithic voting tendencies all the more conspicuous. Meanwhile, white voters in Mississippi have become nearly as monolithically Republican in national elections. (And yes, there is a correlation between the size of southern states African-American population and the extent to which their white voters flock to the Republican Party.) In 2008, Barack Obama won a mere 11 percent of white voters in Mississippi; John Kerry did barely better than that four years earlier.
In such a racially divided landscape, it is plain which politician is representing which voters, and Thad Cochran has not gone out of his way to cater to the nearly 40 percent of his state that is African-American. The NAACP gives him an abysmal 4 percent rating on issues of importance to its members. Yet just enough black Mississippians came out for Cochran yesterday to spare him the indignity of ending his career at the hands of an upstart whose supporters broke into a nursing home to take pictures of Cochrans ailing wife.
Beltway pundits are ascribing Cochrans last-minute success at expanding the electorate to the genius of Mississippi power broker Haley Barbour, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and other Cochran supporters who stumbled on the brilliant strategy of touting Cochrans opposition to Obama in white neighborhoods while touting his support for historically black colleges in African-American neighborhoods. But lets give credit where its due, to the voters themselves. They are not sheep, to be led about by the conniving directives coming from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Rather, some number of them decided that they would rather not be represented in the Senate by someone who is openly nostalgic for the states pre-Civil Rights Era past, who, while strolling through a mostly-white county fair flecked with Confederate flags, waxes about how the fair is a peek back to a better time. Im a Jeffersonian and a Reaganite, and I like to remember how good things once were. Yes, in helping Cochran win, these voters greatly reduced the odds of Democrat Travis Childers winning in the fall, but as Southern expert Ed Kilgore notes, such is the defeatism of being a Democrat in the Deep South that those sorts of calculations seem unrealistic to entertain.
With McDaniel now threatening legal action over Cochrans reliance on those liberal Democrats, Cochrans team is already scrambling to downplay the role of African-American voters, telling reporters that the expansion of the electorate came primarily among Republicans who didnt vote in the June 3 primary. Hogwashthats not what the maps and numbers show. Theres no way around it: Cochran was saved by African-American voters, and he and the rest of the GOP establishment terrified of a McDaniel win and the symbolism around it owe black Mississippians a massive debt.
In reaching out to black voters in recent days, Cochran touted his support for the farm bill, for federal education funding, for the food-stamp program. But the GOP establishments debt requires a grander statement of gratitude than that. Theres the John Conyers bill calling for a study of slavery reparationswhat measure is more suitable than that to be linked to an election in the state that was the headquarters of King Cotton? But if thats a bridge too far, here are two other possibilities. Mississippi has rejected the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, thus leaving uncovered 300,000 of its residents, most of them African-Americana classic example of the ways in which the states large racial minority has suffered at the hands of the states monolithically white and Republican power structure. Might Cochran and, more importantly, Haley Barbour call on their allies in Jackson to rethink that rejection of gobs of federal funds just waiting to be deployed in their impoverished state?
Or this: There is a movement afoot in Washington to pass new protections for the voting rights of minorities in the wake of the Supreme Courts overturning of key elements of the Voting Rights Act. Is there any more fitting way for Thad Cochran to express recognition of the role that African-American voters played in his survivalin the face of threats of voter intimidation from his Republican opponentthan to guarantee that black voters in Mississippi and elsewhere are unencumbered in their access to the polls? I dont recall Cochran speaking up loudly in opposition when Mississippi passed a stringent voter ID law not long ago. Better late than never, Senator.
This is why the repubs should never allow an “open” primary.
The dems are known for using those to get rid of the candidates they don’t want to win.
CA did it for the first time this year .. and I’m thinking about making a big stink about it.
There is absolutely no reason for conservatives to vote for a candidate in November who is beholden to the other party
Defund the GOP
Someone could go into these neighborhoods and innocently interview them on camera and ask why they voted and did they intend to vote for Thad again in the general.
Then use it as evidence.
They’d need a platoon of bodyguards.
The takeaway is obvious: Primaries should be closed, and runoffs should only be open to those who voted in the primary that caused the runoff.
US Congressman Travis Childers, a white guy, a Blue Dog Democrat, is Cochran's opponent.
He's pro-Life, pro-Gun.
In 2010, he was endorsed by the NRA and by National Right to Life.
Most recent polls are 3 months old.
He trailed Cochran by 17% in March.
I'll bet it's a whole lot closer today.
You have a couple of lobbyists who want a particular guy to walk into a temp situation...where Thad retires in eighteen months and the governor has to appoint someone...a basically unknown someone. So, the insiders all rigged up this win for Thad, and their future unknown guy.
Given a choice of a blue-dog democrat or a guy who will be retired in eighteen months who pretends to be a Republican...I’d say it’s safe to vote for the blue-dog democrat. At least twenty-five percent of the time...he’ll side on the Republican strategy.
So, yeah....help defeat Thad in November and send the blue-dog onto the Senate.
Good luck in the general, Cochran. Conservative will desert you like you did indecent things with farm animals....
Cochran is probably more of a racist than any tea party member. His actions today prove it. He goes out and asks for black votes, gets them then claims they didn’t help him win. I wish McDaniel would have countered with his own racist ads pointing out how Cochran was from the “old” republican party who has always hated blacks.
Lobbyist are the main driving force behind corruption. The FF's never intended for the government to become a nation of the rich who can pay off and entertain them to be the sole ones with access to representation yet that is what has happened. I doubt any congresscritter themselves would contact Joe Citizen personally who is trying to petition them. Only a real high profile circumstance would get such attention. Joe Citizen will get an aide and likely an Intern at that. A written letter will get you a generic form letter reply sent by same or even a machine. However if a lobbyist calls they likely get a congresscritters personal returned call or appointment within an hour no more than 24 hours unless out of country.
Lobbying by professionals no matter the cause or organization needs to be stopped and our government representation restored to We The People. I have no qualms about anyone being allowed privately or publically themselves to petition congress in person or by phone etc. I don't care how much money they donate either. Let them do it directly. No limits needed on donations just open records of all donations over $1000.
The hired professional tyrants called lobbyist access needs to be ended though. They have turned our representative government into their own private political brothel retirement center.
Same game, this time he used liberal black Democrats instead of Conservatives.
See the pattern?
Now gitcher ass back under the bus!
The reason Mississippi and other deep South States have a run-off is because the Democrats were trying to prevent blacks from winning a nomination. If 3 white Democrats and 1 black Democrat were running, the black would get the black vote and win the nomination with 35 percent of the vote. The Dixiecrats put in a run-off so that the white candidate would then win. Why Mississippi Republicans kept this racist system is anyone’s guess. In all Northern states and Florida, McDaniel would have won the nomination with a plurality of votes.
Just what the Democrats have given them. Nothing.
Why are people still calling “black” people “African-American”? If they were born here they are Black American’s, end of story. It’s time to get over the “victim of slavery” attitude.
No, there is not, and I have a feeling Cochran is going down to defeat in November. I figure a small number conservatives might vote for the rat, but I think the majority might just sit it out.
I agree. There's no way I'd be voting for the GOPe's candidate. The GOPe needs to learn a lesson. If their guy can't win a primary fair and square, then they need to step aside. If they understand that they can't win in the general if they pull this crap in the primary we'll see a lot less of it. Teach them a lesson.
Another day, another code word.
“There is absolutely no reason for conservatives to vote for a candidate in November who is beholden to the other party”
Yes there is and his name is McDaniel, I think he should run as an independent or even a write in. We had a local tea party candidate that ran as a write in and beat the two other Republicans as well as the Dem, as far as number of votes. ( this was a primary race)
I think there was enough publicity on this race to make a number of people po’d and I believe they would vote for McDaniel, he got 160,000 + votes.
Remove “Yes there is” from my last post. I think McDaniel should run but I didn’t mean or want to give the impression he was associated with the Dems. Sorry about that. Whew
Don’t look at me; please, don’t mistake me for a Republicrat.
In other news, what used to be the republican party saw further conservatives refuse to donate money to their cause. I know that I have not given a DIME to the stinking RINO party in years. The only donations I have made are to certain individual people, but not too the stinking party.
Why “the Repubs should never allow an open primary”? Open primaries serve the incumbent leadership of both parties, as we saw in Tuesday’s Mississippi runoff. We will never see a push by either national party to institute widespread closed primaries; quite the opposite, in fact. Manipulation of primaries, particularly voting for the weakest opposition candidate, is a well-established practice. It is up to the voters in each individual state to mount campaigns within their state legislatures to close their primaries.
If I were a resident of Mississippi, I’d vote for Childers solely as a protest vote against the GOP establishment. The fact that he’s pro-gun and pro-life would make it an absolute certainty.
Could not possibly agree more. There are still legions of registered Republicans who believe that any Republican is better than any Democrat and refuse to accept the truth of the last 5 1/2 years that the differences between the Republican elites and Democrat elites amount to nuances and shades. There is no distinct difference between Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham, John McCain, Thad Cochran and their “good friends” Harry Reid, Carl Levin, Dick Durbin, etc. Maybe it’s time for all remaining good Americans of all parties to adopt a “Throw the Bums Out” strategy and work to defeat incumbents of all stripes, just to show that we can and I hope that doddering old fool Cochran will be the first victim of voter outrage.
So he longed for the days of Jefferson and Reagan, and that is a priori evidence he wants Jim Crow? Or the good ole days of country fairs and cotton candy means he wants black people back in chains?
What this is actually IS racism. Racism against whites, who are portrayed as racist against blacks, simply for loving their country and its heritage.
I never ever heard him or ANY conservative say he wants to go back to slavery and Jim Crow... Barring that, they are simply smearing him when trying to find so-called code words suggesting such when people reminisce about the past. You do it, I do it, everyone does. It doesn't mean we want to take away the blacks voting rights.
>> McDaniel, I think he should run as an independent or even a write in <<
Both options are impossible under Mississippi law. The deadline for getting on the ballot as an independent was January 31. And write-in votes are counted unless an “on the ballot” candidate has died, resigned or been removed.
Re: “It is up to the voters in each individual state to mount campaigns within their state legislatures to close their primaries.”
There is a simpler, instant solution.
We can pay for and manage our own primary elections.
When we pay for our own elections, we can write the election rules any way we like.
I’m guessing that if Conservative crossovers hand the Dem the election (and possibly retention of the Senate) the last thing Liberals like this writer will be saying is that the Dems owe the Tea Party a political debt.
That having been said, I’m consistantly of the opinion that we fight amongst ourselves in the primaries and then rally around the nominee regardless of Conservative/Tea Party or GOPe.
This race is now the exception to that. Cochrane needs to lose, in a clear demonstration that a line was crossed and these sort of tactics have no actual payoff.
I agree, and said so on Free Republic a year ago.
Quick Summary of Current Polls:
We have just three guaranteed GOP Senate pick ups - South Dakota, Montana, and West Virginia.
In Louisiana, Landrieu, the Democrat, trials by just 3%, within the margin of error.
In 7 other “Senate Battleground States,” the Democrat nominee either has a small lead, or is tied.
In Georgia, Nunn(D), has a small lead over Kingston(R), the Republican who is expected to win the GOP primary.
In Georgia, Perdue(R) has a small lead over Nunn(D), but Perdue(R) trails Kingston(R) by a large margin in the primary.
In Kentucky, Mitch McConnell(R) has a 1.5% lead, within the margin of error.
Here is a helpful reference page, just click on names for the most recent polls:
Really? What, exactly, do these measures constitute if it isn't voter bribery? And yes, predictably, they're racial reparations, more 0bamacare, and more protection for voter fraud. Lovely.
Cochran was a Democrat himself when the “bad old days” were happening.
Like you, I have always voted for the GOP nominee, no matter how disappointing.
Unfortunately, I’ve been voting that way for 45 years, and the country has still moved Left in almost every election.
Only Reagan’s first term, 1981-1985, and the Gingrich Revolution, one year, 1995, even managed to SLOW DOWN the Leftward march.
I’m beginning to think 2014 may be the year when the GOP finally succeeds in committing political suicide.
Thanks for that info .. I want to start some sort of conversation to return San Diego County to a closed primary.
We have a new state chairman and I don’t know if he changed it or not .. but I’m sure going to try to find out.
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