mississippi

What We Learned From Tuesday's Primaries

Tuesday night was a good one for Donald Trump. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Donald Trump stayed strong in the south and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio's campaign looked weak, despite high-profile endorsement in the Republican primaries. On the Democratic side, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton won by a large margin over Vermont Sen. Bernard Sanders in Mississippi, continuing her southern dominance, though in Michigan, Sanders pulled out a close win and a stunning upset. And the race continues.  

So what's next for the campaigns and how will they adjust strategies before upcoming debates and important primaries?  

Past and Precedent: What Makes This Mississippi Special Election Interesting

You might think the best way to understand Mississippi's upcoming 1st District special election  to fill the late Rep. Alan Nunnelee's seat is to examine the 2008 special election in the same district. After all, that previous special election to fill the seat left open by Roger Wicker's appointment to the Senate happened less than seven years ago.  

If you think that, you are wrong. The regularly scheduled 2008 primary, which took place on March 11 and was followed by an April 1 runoff, took place before the April 22 special election and May 13 special election runoff. That sequencing is crucial because it made the 2008 special election less important than you might imagine.  

Why Special Elections Really Matter

Pelosi and Hoyer both came to Congress thanks to special elections. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Special elections matter, but not for the reasons you might think.  

It's an annual sport in politics: arguing whether special elections serve as bellwethers. But while special elections often poorly portend results around the country, they can produce potential leaders. They're also excellent predictors of voter behavior inside that particular district.  

What Did — and Didn't — Surprise Me This Cycle
Chris McDaniel Files Challenge to Mississippi Runoff Results

McDaniel is challenging the results of the June 24 runoff. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Mississippi state Sen. Chris McDaniel announced Monday he will formally challenge the results of the Republican Senate primary runoff.  

Six weeks after the runoff and a month after the state GOP certified Sen. Thad Cochran as the nominee, the McDaniel campaign announced they were filing a challenge with the Mississippi Republican Party's State Executive Committee.  

Chris McDaniel Finished Mississippi Senate Runoff With $386,000

McDaniel had nearly $400,000 left after his runoff. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Chris McDaniel, who may soon launch an official challenge to the results of the Mississippi Republican Senate runoff, still had $386,000 in his campaign coffers a week after the late June election, according to his July quarterly report filed with the Federal Election Commission.  

McDaniel, who hoped to use that money for the November general election, instead lost to Sen. Thad Cochran by more than 7,600 votes. But he's since refused to concede.  

Chris McDaniel Estimates More Than 10,000 Voting 'Irregularities'

Chris McDaniel is a Republican from Mississippi. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Mississippi state Sen. Chris McDaniel said in a Friday radio interview that he expects to find over 10,000 voting "irregularities" in his campaign's investigation of the June GOP runoff.  

Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., was officially declared the winner of that runoff by a margin of more than 7,600 votes. But McDaniel has not conceded the GOP nomination, and his supporters are examining ballots in every county in Mississippi to determine if there was any deliberate voter fraud or if anyone voted in the runoff who was ineligible to do so.  

Chris McDaniel Attorney: Mississippi Election Challenge Coming

Chris McDaniel is preparing to challenge the Mississippi runoff results. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Attorneys for state Sen. Chris McDaniel said Wednesday they have sufficient evidence to challenge the results of Mississippi's Republican Senate runoff — which McDaniel lost to Sen. Thad Cochran last month — and expect to do so in the next 10 days.  

"We’ve heard it our entire life in Mississippi," McDaniel campaign attorney Mitch Tyner said at a press conference in Jackson. "Votes are being bought. Ballot boxes are being stuffed. ... Personally, I’m 51 years old, it’s the first time I saw it up close and personal. And it exists. And we are committed to finding it and rooting it out and stopping it."  

Chris McDaniel Campaign Wants Runoff Redo

The McDaniel campaign is challenging the results of last month's runoff. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

State Sen. Chris McDaniel's attorney confirmed Monday the campaign's plans to challenge the results of last month's Senate runoff, arguing the only solution is to hold a new election for the GOP nomination.  

McDaniel lost  to Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., in the June 24 GOP runoff by about 6,700 votes. Since then, McDaniel's allies have contested  the results and his team offered a cash prize  for anyone who can provide evidence of voter fraud.

Chris McDaniel Offers $15,000 Reward for Voter Fraud Evidence

Chris McDaniel is a Republican from Mississippi. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

State Sen. Chris McDaniel has offered 15 rewards of $1,000 each to any person who can "provide evidence leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone involved in voter fraud" in the Republican primary for Senate in Mississippi.  

On Thursday, his campaign announced the "challenge" in the latest episode in a circus of a Senate race. On June 24, incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., defeated McDaniel in a primary runoff by 6,700 votes. But McDaniel has refused to concede, alleging Cochran's team paid for votes.  McDaniel's team also charges some people voted in the Democratic primary earlier in the month and then voted for Cochran in the runoff, an illegal practice in Mississippi known as double voting.