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June 03, 2014 9:52 AM Seniority Versus Ideology and Rain

By Ed Kilgore

The marquee contest that the chattering classes will be jabbering about tonight—in part because the polls close in Mississippi at a relatively early 8:00 PM EDT—is the Mississippi GOP Senate contest, where no one professes to know what will happen. Late polls have gone in both directions; RealClearPolitics’ polling average for the race is a tie. The general feeling is that low turnout—perhaps made worse by rainy weather—is Cochran’s main enemy, and that McDaniel may have blown a sure win by his inept handling of the bizarre incident involving a conservative blogger’s photo session with Rose Cochran. It’s even possible that a very minor third candidate could throw the race into a June 24 runoff.

If McDaniel wins, the state will join Kentucky and Georgia as unlikely places Republicans could lose a Senate seat in November, offsetting gains elsewhere. And the subterranean battle between seniority and ideology among southern conservatives would take another turn towards a future where it’s deadly to let anyone get to your right.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

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