If either Thad Cochran or Chris McDaniel had really romped in yesterday's Republican primary for US Senate, it would probably be a done deal: Democratic nominee Travis Childers would have run a credible but obviously losing campaign just to "show the flag" (so far the best he's polled against either GOP candidate is 38%, and that was early on).
But Cochran and McDaniel mauled each other in yesterday's primary, neither one of them hitting the 50% mark to avoid a runoff three weeks from now. And they are presumably going to spend the next three weeks gouging each others' eyes out, metaphorically (?) speaking.
Let's take a quick look back at 2012. Incumbent US Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) didn't look very promising for re-election. She really only had one chance, and that was for US Representative Todd "Legitimate Rape" Akin (R-MO) to win the GOP primary.
McCaskill actually ran ads for Todd Akin, extolling his conservative virtues and so forth. Akin won his primary and McCaskill won re-election.
Yes, Mississippi is different. It's different in two ways:
- Childers isn't as well-positioned to beat a weak GOP candidate as McCaskill was; but
- Childers has an opportunity to hit the GOP in a weak spot regardless of who wins the runoff.