1. Senator McDaniel is a real threat to "establishment" Republicans.
PPP has noted that Cochran is in danger of losing his primary all along. Some of us at Cottonmouth have been saying that for a while. But the truly interesting thing to note is that despite McDaniel's lack of name ID among everyday Republicans, he still out-polls Delbert Hosemann as the favorite to win if Senator Cochran is not in the field. McDaniel is a threat to anyone in the field who might be deemed "main stream." This is due to one thing...
2. The Mississippi Republican Party is now controlled by the Tea Party.
It is not safe to be anything other than combative anymore. Even the well-known and popular Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves polls dismally (3%) to others in the prospective field, and among the Republican primary voters, 15% consider themselves "moderate." When asked if they'd prefer Thad Cochran or "someone more conservative," 55% of Mississippi's Republican primary voters prefer the latter. But..
3. Aside from a swath of Tea Partiers, Mississippians are willing to look at other options, even if they have a (D) next to their name.
Despite what has been stated so far -- at least the three Democrats mentioned in the poll are competitive. The generally surveyed field was overweighted with Republicans 422 to 502, and yet Attorney General Jim Hood is head-to-head with every potential Republican nominee...Including Senator Cochran. If Chris McDaniel ended up with the nomination, former Governor Ronnie Musgrove, former Congressman Travis Childers, and Attorney General Hood would be in a statistical dead heat -- and this is among a weighted Republican populous. Perhaps PPP even missed out on an opportunity to test another strong candidate, Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley, who may be able to tap into the public discontent. Because...
4. These numbers aren't off.
In the coming days, there may be some people here and there suggesting that these poll results are off-kilter or possibly even completely incorrect. (even though they were weighted for Republicans). For that reason, I asked Mississippi Democratic Trust Director Brandon Jones, who very flatly told me:
"This matches our recent survey of Republican Party primary voters. The Tea Party owns this Party now."With that in mind, the DSCC may be chomping at the bit for Republican primary voters to choose their favorite Tea Party candidate. Because they don't necessarily hold the views of the rest of our state, and some "moderate" Republicans may be without a home.