By Ryan S. Walters
In the latest of a long string of smears directed against Senator Chris McDaniel, the staff at Y’all Politics (most likely Alan Lange or Frank Corder) examined a supposed race between McDaniel and Tate Reeves.
“Put simply,” they write, “Reeves would politically skull-crush McDaniel in a primary, head-to-head.”
Oh really? So, kinda like, to use the words of Henry Barbour, in a race against Thad Cochran, McDaniel “will get his head handed to him and he will deserve it”? How Nephew Henry has any credibility in the State of Mississippi is beyond me!
Here are some hard facts and a serious examination of a race between Chris McDaniel and Tate Reeves.
When Senator McDaniel began his race against Thad Cochran in October 2013, the so-called, and self-appointed, political geniuses across Mississippi, like the folks at Y’all, thought the campaign would be a joke.
In December 2013, two months after McDaniel entered the race, the Gulf Live blog called Cochran “the most unbeatable politician in Mississippi.” In fact, in a poll in January 2013, long before any challenge was announced, Cochran sat atop the heap as the most popular politician in the state in terms of favorability, spot the Clarion Ledger wrote “might make would-be challengers think twice.” And no one had ever considered a challenge to his supremacy. Only a fool would confront him, it was thought.
Well, Senator Chris McDaniel is no fool. But when he announced his run, he was seen and depicted as one. The Y’all Politics resident political expert, Frank Corder, a man who lost his race for mayor of Pascagoula by a huge margin with a grand total of 700 votes, believed McDaniel would lose by at least 20 points. Pete “the cheat” Perry, the Boss of Hinds County, predicted McDaniel would get just 20 percent of the vote!
But a funny thing happened on the way to Election Day 2014, and the Establishment found out the hard way what kind of man and candidate Chris McDaniel is.
Though many of the Establishment Republicans in Mississippi seem to want to continue to live in fantasyland, the fact remains that Chris McDaniel beat Thad Cochran not once but twice. It’s the only time in his long political career that Cochran ever lost a vote, as he clearly did on June 3.
In the June 24 runoff, Senator McDaniel won more than 184,000 Republican votes, some 60 percent of the GOP voters in Mississippi, the most Republican votes ever received in a Republican primary. He didn’t need to lie, cheat, manipulate, or race-bait to convince Democrats to vote for him, like Cochran did. Republicans went to the polls en mass to support him. That’s impressive in anyone’s book.
And what about Tate Reeves? He won his primary election in 2011 with just 110,000 votes, far less than Senator McDaniel in his race against the “unbeatable” Cochran.
Furthermore, in a PPP poll in November 2013, when it was thought Cochran might retire, Chris McDaniel led the survey of seven possible replacements with 25 percent support. Hosemann was second with 15 percent. And Tate? Well he brought up the rear with a whopping 3 percent, seventh and last place!
Simply put, such a hypothetical race would NOT be a political skull-crush of Senator McDaniel. A McDaniel-Reeves contest would result in a Mashed Tater!