Poll: GOP Excitement Still High, McDaniel Leads

The poll shows McDaniel with a 3-point lead over Cochran, which is within the survey's margin and error, and provides some insight into the people who will pick the state's GOP nominee.

The poll shows McDaniel with a 3-point lead over Cochran, which is within the survey's margin and error, and provides some insight into the people who will pick the state's GOP nominee. Photo by Trip Burns.

Enthusiasm among an older and overwhelmingly white electorate has not waned in the Republican primary runoff for U.S. Senate, a Democratic polling firm finds.

Chism Strategies, which is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and has an office in Mississippi, conducted a statewide survey on Thursday, June 5—two nights after U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran and state Sen. Chris McDaniel finished in a virtual draw—of 832 households that participated in the past four Republican federal primaries.

"At this point in the race, supporters of both are energized and optimistic," the report states.

Of those polled, 97 percent of respondents said they would definitely vote in the runoff election. Pollsters determined that equal percentages of Cochran and McDaniel voters will turn out for the June 24 primary runoff and that equal percentages believe their candidate will win the election.

The poll also shows McDaniel with a 3-point lead over Cochran, which is within the survey's margin of error, and provides some insight into the people who will pick the state's GOP nominee. Calling only landlines, Chism Strategies got a sample that was 96 percent white and 90 percent over the age of 55.

Whether Cochran will be able to woo African American and other Democrats who sat on the sidelines in the June 3 election is an increasingly open question.

Former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, a Cochran booster, told Politico last week that the Cochran campaign hopes to "expand the electorate" going into the runoff. Barbour, a congressional lobbyist who used his relationships with Washington, D.C., to bring funding back to Mississippi and win two terms in the governor's mansion before returning to his D.C. lobbying work, hinted that Mississippians would turn away from McDaniel if they understood what his anti-spending views would mean for the state's economy.

"People are going to know the differences between Cochran and McDaniel on policy, and one of the first ones is going to be federal spending on education. And I predict it will increase the number of people who vote in the runoff," Barbour told Politico.

Byron D'Andra Orey, a Jackson State University political science professor, said such a strategy represents a "conundrum" for Cochran. Partisan politics in Mississippi are inextricably tied to race, so white Republicans would view an explicit appeal to Democrats as an appeal to African Americans, Orey said.

"Mississippi is so polarized around race, any time you make an explicit appeal to blacks, you're going to lose white voters," Orey told the Jackson Free Press.


Comments

notmuch 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Several statements here are disappointing to me. The description "an older and overwhelmingly white electorate", combined with the later description of the poll sample as "96 percent white and 90 percent over the age of 55", can only lead me to conclude that since I am over 55, I am "older". Argghh! Just kidding--that doesn't disappoint me; I already knew that.

However, the statements that "white Republicans would view an explicit appeal to Democrats as an appeal to African Americans" and "any time you make an explicit appeal to blacks, you're going to lose white voters" are quite a stretch. I am assuming that Byron D'Andra Orey is a white Republican since he speaks for that group, but he does not speak for any of that group with whom I am acquainted.

Just to be sure I had not missed something, I checked my calendar, and it is 2014...

0

RonniMott 5 months, 2 weeks ago

I can't speak for Orey, notmuch, but what he says here is a variation of what I've heard from a number of political scientists--black and white. It also aligns with my personal experience. I've had (white) folks drop their voices to a whisper when they say "Democrat," because they're using the word as a simile for black--or a stand in for a racial epithet. (as in: "You don't want to live in Jackson, 'cause it's filled with--air quotes--'Democrats.'") Every political race here is racially polarized: You can count on roughly 90% of whites voting Republican, and about 90% of blacks voting Democratic. Even in races where party is not declared, you'll find a racial split in votes. So yeah, Mississippi Republicans courting Democrats may well end up with a race "issue." It's not much of a stretch.

It's also absurdly archaic and ignorant.

0

notmuch 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Ronni, once again our experiences are different. However, I do agree with your last sentence.

0
comments powered by Disqus