It’s been 13 days since Sen. Thad Cochran, by most accounts, won Mississippi’s Republican primary over Tea Party challenger Chris McDaniel, with African-American Democrats largely providing the 6,800-vote margin of victory out of some 375,000 votes cast.
But as of Monday, McDaniel still hadn’t conceded, and your guess is as good as anyone’s as to when — or even if — he ever will.
Instead, a lawyer for the McDaniel campaign said the state senator and former radio host would continue his challenge based on claims that many who voted in the June 3 Democratic primary had also voted in the Republican primary. State law makes that illegal.
From what Mitch Tyner, McDaniel’s lawyer, said, it could be weeks before the process plays out, as far as his side is concerned.
“As we’ve gone through this process, we’re surprised at the amount of evidence that continues to come forward that shows us that there has indeed been election fraud in this case,” Tyner told reporters Monday afternoon outside outside the Hinds County courthouse. “And we do not want to see any election decided by ineligible voters.”
Hinds, where the state capital is located, was one of scores of courthouses around the Magnolia State where officials examined voter information to determine how many Democrats voted in both primaries.
So far, it wasn’t looking good for McDaniel. In Lauderdale County, for instance, where more than 11,000 votes were cast, only seven were so-called crossover voters. In Pontotoc County, with 3,000 ballots cast, three were crossovers.
These sorts of numbers fueled confidence within the Cochran campaign.
“We have representatives at all 82 courthouses today to monitor the review of ballot boxes and have been pleased with the results,” campaign spokesman Jordan Russell said. “The county-by-county results reported thus far are revealing an extremely low number of crossover votes from the June 24 election.”
Not the kind of evidence that comes anywhere close to justifying the McDaniel campaign’s numerous claims of widespread fraud. But that doesn’t seem to matter in the not-so-civil war taking place between Mississippi Republicans.