Two new surveys show challenger Chris McDaniel leading Sen. Thad CochranWilliam (Thad) Thad CochranBottom line Alabama zeroes in on Richard Shelby's future Hyde-Smith fends off challenge from Espy in Mississippi MORE (R-Miss.) in the Mississippi Senate primary runoff.


One, from Chism Strategies, which is headed by Democratic strategist Brad Chism, shows McDaniel with a three-point lead, taking 50.6 percent support to 47.6 percent support for Cochran among Mississippians who voted in the past four primaries.

That survey was conducted last Thursday evening among 832 GOP primary voters via landline and has a 3.3 percent margin of error, and included an equal number of McDaniel and Cochran supporters who voted in the June 3rd primary.

Another, from Tea Party-centric pollster Strategic National reported by Politico, shows McDaniel with 52 percent support to Cochran’s 46 percent support among likely GOP runoff voters.

The robopoll was also conducted last Thursday, and also showed 40 percent of respondents believe Cochran should step down rather than continue the runoff fight.

McDaniel finished on primary night slightly ahead of Cochran, by about 1,300 votes, and is favored to win in the runoff. 

Conservative organizations that backed McDaniel in the primary are pledging to “double down” in support of the candidate in the general, as FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe put it. And on Monday, McDaniel picked up another big-name conservative endorsement from former Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), who still commands respect among libertarians and conservatives.

Establishment Republicans are, however, rallying around Cochran, with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) headlining a fundraiser for the incumbent this week and Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) making fundraising phone calls for him.