Senate races

Dem leading black voting push for Cochran

A Democratic political operative has reportedly launched a get-out-the-vote effort focused on African Americans for Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) in the Mississippi Senate primary runoff.

{mosads}James “Scooby Doo” Warren told the Clarion-Ledger that he is working with the pro-Cochran Mississippi Conservatives PAC and bishop Ronnie Crudup, Sr., on the effort to boost Cochran in his fierce runoff fight against state Sen. Chris McDaniel.

McDaniel is heavily favored in the runoff, and most surveys have shown him leading Cochran, most recently by 12 points. But Cochran’s team has said it hopes to turn out Democrats who didn’t vote in the initial primary to come out for Cochran.

It’s not a new tactic for Cochran’s supporters. A group supporting the senator with ties to Crudup published an ad in an African American weekly newspaper pitching for minority votes ahead of the primary. 

But the tactic could backfire, if conservatives see Cochran as betraying the party by reaching out to Democrats. That was the central line of attack in a recent ad launched by the Club for Growth, which accused Cochran of trying to get Democrats to “hijack” the runoff.

Warren said he hadn’t faced any “blowback” for working with Republicans. “Got all that taken care of on the front end,” he told the Clarion-Ledger.

“I called D.C. and told them what was going on with the tea party,” Warren said. “But I can’t do anything after the 24th because I’m a Democrat … Whoever wins will have to deal with me in November.”

However, Mississippi Democratic Party Chairman Rickey Cole said Warren’s work for Cochran was troubling, and suggested in a Facebook message to a reporter that Warren and his affiliates may be trying to buy votes.

Tags 2014 Mississippi Senate Race Chris McDaniel Thad Cochran
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