Since the release of a Harper poll on April 7, showing Thad Cochran ahead of his primary opponent, Chris McDaniel, by 17 points, it seems that the Republican Establishment, and every major media outlet, has run with those bogus numbers in another vain attempt to dishearten conservatives and tea partiers. A simple Google search will show scores of articles that have used those phony numbers.
But an analysis on Redstate.com showed just how such an outcome was delivered. Rather than poll the state accurately, in the Harper survey “nearly 3/5 of those polled are 66 years of age or older and only 1/10 of those polled are under the age of 50. That might help when polling support for a 76 year-old incumbent.” Precisely.
The poll also surveyed heavily in North Mississippi, even though two-thirds of the population resides from Jackson south. This is also the area, South Mississippi, that will have the heaviest turnout on primary day, as electoral history shows.
It was the same story back in December, when the same polling group found Cochran with a 23-point advantage, a survey that failed to include the major south central Mississippi media market, which is McDaniel’s home turf.
We should also point out that the Harper polling group’s president was once a strategist for the NRCC, the National Republican Congressional Committee, or, in other words, an establishment guy who has every reason to take down McDaniel. So this poll should be distrusted.
But even though the slanted Harper poll shows that McDaniel is gaining on Cochran (in Cochran’s strongest area of the state, no less), and we are made to believe their numbers gap is true, then why wouldn’t the Cochran camp feel at least a little safe sitting on a 17 point lead with 7 weeks to go?
Because, just as Redstate.com pointed out, the numbers are not true and they know they are not. For some strange reason, every other poll taken in just the last few weeks either show Senator McDaniel with the lead or in a statistical tie with Cochran. Only the Harper poll shows such a disparity with the numbers.
Even the Democrats have polling data that show McDaniel in the lead, and we have heard from sources that they conclude the lead is significant, so much so that they are privately planning for a Childers-McDaniel race in November.
If this seems out of kilter with the chatter on the major news sites, we would suggest considering the source. The establishment in this country, whether Republican or Democrat, does not want to see Chris McDaniel in the United States Senate. They have a solid man in Thad Cochran and don’t want to lose their sacred cash cow. McDaniel would only upset their cherished apple cart, filled as it is with the tax dollars of hard-working Mississippians, so that The Machine grinds on.
True polling numbers, then, help explain why the Cochran campaign, and its surrogates in the media, are continuing to assault McDaniel on an almost daily basis with press releases and attack ads. They fear this race is slipping away from them and they are getting desperate.
These ads, some funded by outside money like the US Chamber of Commerce, a group not on the side of the average Mississippian, and Barbour-funded PACs, have distorted Senator McDaniel’s record on common core and tort reform (an attack we refuted, as did Factcheck.org), lied about his record on spending, and attacked his personal voting record, as well as his state senate attendance. They have lashed out at radio clips taken out of context that are nearly a decade old, all while telling us they had nothing to do with the release of the tapes. And yet Ole Thad claims that he hasn’t “been doing any bashing.”
This race has gotten mired in the mud and the muck precisely because that’s where Cochran and his supporters want it to be. They do NOT want a campaign centered on his 42 years in Congress, nor do they want to have a debate on the issues.
Even Sam R. Hall, a former Executive Director of the Mississippi Democratic Party, wrote in the Clarion Ledger this week calling on Cochran to accept a debate offer from WLBT, an offer McDaniel quickly accepted:
“Like it or not, as a candidate for public office, Cochran should not hide from any and all appearances not closely controlled by his staff,” Halla wrote. “He’s a U.S. senator, and he’s more than capable of stepping from the confines of campaign events. If he doesn’t, questions of why will only grow louder, and they’ll come from more places than just McDaniel supporters.” But, as Hall admits, Cochran’s handlers will never allow that to happen. Thad Cochran will never stand before the people of Mississippi and defend his record.
And it really is a shame too, for Mississippians deserve to see two leading candidates for the United States Senate on statewide television debating the most important issues of our time, rather than continue to watch Thad Cochran’s machine drag a race for the people’s seat into the mud.