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Thad Cochran's unexpected victory on Tuesday night was unexpected, in part, because very few polls showed him beating Chris McDaniel. (It was also unexpected because there's very little precedent for incumbents who finish second in a primary in a runoff state to surge and win the runoff.) However, rewind the tape back to Eric Cantor's unexpected loss a few weeks ago, where something very similar happened. In Mississippi as in Virginia, it was an open primary, and the pollsters weren't thinking outside the box. However, the victorious campaigns did think outside the box; they targeted voters outside the universe of likely voters in a Republican primary.

In Cochran's case, that meant targeting Democratic voters who, while they might not want to vote for Cochran in a general election, might still easily prefer Cochran, an old-school appropriator, to McDaniel, a shrink-the-government-at-all-costs type with alleged neo-Confederate ties. Misssissippi is one of the most racially polarized states in terms of voting patterns (in 2008, 98 percent of blacks voted for Barack Obama and 88 percent of whites voted for John McCain), so that meant explicitly trying to make inroads among African-American voters.

There were anecdotal reports before the election, of a Cochran-affiliated PAC hiring a Democratic operative to do GOTV in the African-American community, and the McDaniel campaign clearly saw the threat too, with their last minute push to put poll intimidators watchers in place. It seemed like a Hail Mary at the time ... but looking at Tuesday night's election results, it very clearly worked.

As you can see in the maps above, there's a clear relationship between the counties where Cochran greatly increased his vote between the two elections, and the counties with the largest black populations. The map on the left is based on Cochran's vote gain, not in terms of raw numbers (which often weren't very large; it was often a gain of just a few hundred votes, but when Cochran got only a few hundred votes in those counties in the first round, in some cases it was a gain of double or more), but in terms of percentage. The map on the right is based on the percentage of black residents in each county. (If you'd prefer to see the data in scatterplot form, several other observers have done that, though the maps make it look more striking.)

There's more over the fold ...

If we're talking about gains of only a few hundred votes per county, though, why does that matter in the big picture, you might ask? For starters, in a game of inches like this (McDaniel beat Cochran by 1,314 votes in the primary, and Cochran beat McDaniel by 6,373 votes in the runoff), every vote counts.

In addition, you can see the effect just by zooming in one county: Hinds County, where Jackson is located. This is the state's most populous county, and with most of the Jackson area's white residents having decamped to exurban Rankin and Madison Counties in the last few decades, it's now 69 percent black and also the state's largest pool of black votes. Cochran got 10,928 votes here in the primary, but that shot up to 17,927 votes in the runoff. McDaniel also increased in Hinds, but only from 5,621 to 6,962. In other words, Cochran gained 6,999 votes, while McDaniel gained 1,341, a net of 5,658 in Hinds County alone. (Cochran improved his performance from 66 percent here in the primary, already one of his strongest counties, to 72 percent.)

Statewide, Cochran gained 36,979 votes from the primary to the runoff, while McDaniel gained 29,220 new voters. That's a Cochran net of 7,759 statewide. As you can see, the Cochran gain in Hinds County is almost as large as his gain statewide! In other words, much of the foundation for Cochran's win is found in this one, mostly-black county.

Now take a look at Jones County, which is McDaniel's home county and his stronghold. McDaniel got an almost-unreal 85 percent here in the primary, with 11,025 votes to Cochran's 1,816. But when it came to the runoff, McDaniel gained only 1,615 votes to go to 12,640, while Cochran gained 948 votes, going up to 2,764. Had McDaniel been able to build on his previous performance in Jones the way that Cochran did in Hinds, McDaniel would have won ... but instead, he was already almost maxed out on his friends and neighbors. (McDaniel in fact lost ground, dropping down to "only" 82 percent of the vote in Jones in the runoff.)

County Black % Cochran
gain %
gain %
Hinds 68.8 10,928 17,927 6,999 64.0 5,621 6,962 1,341 23.9
Jones 28.2 1,816 2,764 948 52.2 11,025 12,640 1,615 14.6
Total 36.9 153,654 190,633 36,979 24.1 155,040 184,260 29,220 18.8

In fact, of the 10 counties that had the biggest percentage gain for Thad Cochran from the primary to the runoff, eight of them are also among the 10 counties with the highest percentage of African-American residents (and the other two are both at least 69 percent black). The single biggest gainer, Jefferson County, is also Mississippi's blackest county. Again, with only about 8,000 residents, Jefferson County by itself isn't a difference-maker. But when all the counties in the Delta make a similar move, it adds up quickly.

Interestingly, though, the number 11 county in terms of Cochran gain was Jones County, McDaniel's home turf! (It's the one county in the southeast that stands out in bright red on the left map.) Jones has a low African-American percentage (28 percent) by Mississippi standards; perhaps McDaniel's few local detractors were motivated to get out and vote against him after having shrugged off the primary.

County Black % Cochran
gain %
gain %
Jefferson 85.4 121 321 200 165.3 95 111 16 16.8
Humphrey 74.1 391 811 420 107.4 181 214 33 18.2
Claiborne 84.0 161 295 134 83.2 112 112 0 0
Holmes 83.0 365 688 303 83.0 257 296 39 15.2
Sharkey 70.7 320 557 237 74.1 86 115 29 33.7
Coahoma 75.3 611 1,050 439 71.8 298 345 47 15.8
Hinds 68.8 10,928 17,927 6,999 64.0 5,621 6,962 1,341 23.9
Washington 71.1 1,455 2,345 890 61.2 606 844 238 39.3
Tunica 73.2 235 363 128 54.5 86 121 35 40.7
Sunflower 72.5 771 1,186 415 53.8 358 428 70 19.6

The 10 counties where Cochran had the lowest gain—in fact, in six of them, Cochran actually got fewer votes in the runoff than he did in the primary—by contrast are mostly among the state's whitest counties. It's not as sharp a relationship; only three of the bottom 10 counties are also among the 10 whitest counties, but all but one are in the bottom quarter of white counties.

County Black % Cochran
gain %
gain %
George 8.1 1,233 967 - 266 - 21.6 2,220 2,410 190 8.6
Hancock 7.0 3,631 3,100 - 531 - 14.6 3,221 3,301 80 2.5
Greene 25.9 418 389 - 29 - 6.9 983 1,113 130 13.2
Perry 20.0 697 667 - 30 - 4.3 1,188 1,385 197 16.6
Stone 19.1 1,259 1,251 - 8 - 0.6 1,412 1,509 97 6.9
Pearl River 12.3 2,140 2,136 - 4 - 0.2 4,618 5,758 1,140 24.7
Clarke 34.4 926 936 10 1.1 1,245 1,518 273 21.9
Webster 19.9 815 867 52 6.4 758 919 161 21.2
Choctaw 30.1 574 613 39 6.8 620 601 - 19 - 3.1
Harrison 21.9 13,113 14,203 1,090 8.3 9,480 10,355 875 9.2

If you look at the map of which counties have the lowest percentage of African-Americans, you'll notice that they tend to fall in two corners of the state, in the southeast corner (the core of MS-04) and the northeast corner (the core of MS-01). However, the counties in the southeast corner are the ones where Cochran didn't gain (like George, Greene, Hancock, and Pearl River). The counties in the northeast corner (like Tishomingo—the state's whitest county, at 3 percent black—Itawamba, and Alcorn) don't follow the runoff's pattern, though. In the MS-01 counties, as you can see from the left map, Cochran gained votes at a 20 to 25 percent rate, pretty typical of the state as a whole. This divergence among counties at the white end of the slope shows why there isn't a terribly strong correlation between Cochran gain and black percentage (0.19), even though it shows up quite well on the map.

In other words, Cochran has some regional appeal in the northeast that he doesn't in the southeast. It's possible that the northeast, which is considered the "Appalachian" part of the state, has a different attitude toward public works than the southeast, maybe thanks to the influence of the Tennessee Valley Authority; however, the southeast certainly sees its share of federal dollars as well, with a lot of Navy shipbuilding activity there. Alternatively, it may be that McDaniel had some unique appeal in the southeast; he's from Jones County, which is in MS-04, though it's further north and not in the stubby little panhandle area, where the counties where Cochran gained the least are found.

Now that Cochran no doubt knows that he eked out one last term thanks to his African-American constituents, does he start becoming more attentive to their needs (if not out of gratitude, then at least out of an enhanced awareness of their existence)? Here's to hoping that he does, although he might feel that his recompense is to keep on whittling down the government at a much slower pace than the Chris McDaniels of the world would have liked to.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 02:08 PM PDT.

Also republished by Black Kos community and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Excellent diary (57+ / 0-)
    Now that Cochran no doubt knows that he eked out one last term thanks to his African-American constituents, does he start becoming more attentive to their needs (if not out of gratitude, then at least out of an enhanced awareness of their existence)? Here's to hoping that he does, although he might feel that his recompense is to keep on whittling down the government at a much slower pace than the Chris McDaniels of the world would have liked to.
    Regarding the last paragraph, I did some research this morning, and I found out a little more about Cochran's interesting history, particularly from these two sources:  (Page 8 and 9)

    Whilst Senator Cochran votes against African American policy interests (e.g. the ACA) he at least has a history of African American outreach; I don't think he's being opportunistic and reaching out to African Americans because he finally needed them to win his runoff. Cochran was not one of those conservative segregationist Democrats who went on to re-align with the increasingly conservative national Republican party; he was always unsympathetic to the cause. He voted for LBJ in 1964, citing the civil rights act, and when he ran for MS-04 in 1972 as a Republican, it was against a segregationist Democrat, Ellis Bodron, whom he beat narrowly by reaching out to black communities (MS-04 was 43% African American at the time), reaching close to 50% of the vote in black-majority counties such as Wilkinson, Jefferson, and Claiborne. This was when the party of white domination and segregation was the Democratic Party in Mississippi, still stuck in its civil war hangover. MS-04 was also a seat that Democrats had held for 88 of the past 90 years.

    Interestingly, his outreach to African Americans in the GOP runoff against a neo-confederate is strikingly similar to his tactic in 1972, when he was first elected to Congress, also against a neo-confederate type politician, whom he beat, also by a narrow margin of around 6000 votes.

    •  That's some (22+ / 0-)

      great historical context... probably worth a diary in its own right, if you haven't already.

      Editor, Daily Kos Elections.

      by David Jarman on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 03:10:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks for this context (22+ / 0-)

      I think his past may explain why Cochran was successful in garnering Democratic support.  In the Wash Post, you have Chris Cilizza writing how remarkable and unique Cochran's performance (especially about recruiting Dems) without bothering to explore the historical context.  Another example of Beltway CW and laziness.

      •  So how does it play in Mississippi? (5+ / 0-)

        Speaking of context.  Not only does Cochran win with Democrats but mostly black Democrats.  

        I can't see this going over well with McDaniel voters, which Cochran will need to win in November.

        No matter how cynical you become, you can never keep up.--Lily Tomlin

        by MadScientist on Thu Jun 26, 2014 at 07:48:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If there were this many black voters mobilized now (4+ / 0-)

          What does this mean for the Republicans come November?  A lot of their strategy seems to revolve around the idea of low turnout is better for them.

          Cochran can't believe that these voters will stay home in Nov after they went out of their way to vote in the primaries.  Nor can he hope for their vote.

          •  Also, it may have another effect (0+ / 0-)

            This is a recent demonstrable example of how turning out and voting CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE. So, all those people who haven't voted in the past -- because 'Republicans always win in Mississippi' -- might just turn out in high enough numbers to flip this seat.  

            "Free your mind and the rest will follow...."

            by midknightryder13 on Thu Jun 26, 2014 at 02:22:32 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Or with the same result? (0+ / 0-)

              Thad Cochran has faced stronger Democrat Party rivals in the past and been sent back to the Senate.  I'm not sure how much of an effect more/fewer voters will have considering his popularity across both aisles.

              One effect it may have is to send a clear message to the Conservative wing of the Republican party: start clarifying your message!  Tell Us, The People what you are FOR, not what you are AGAINST.  Have a plan, explain the plan, make the plan clear and run on the merits of the plan - or get used to losing.  And quit with the sour grapes... it's unattractive and embarrassing.

    •  Although (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I believe in his first run for Congress, there was a black candidate running as an independent (or possibly, as it was known at the time, the National Democratic Party of Mississippi -- basically, to distinguish it from the segregationist state Democratic Party.)  The independent candidate siphoned off enough votes for Cochran to win.

      30, white male, TX-07 (current), TN-09 (born), TN-08 (where parents live now)

      by TDDVandy on Thu Jun 26, 2014 at 07:29:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Great info, thanks! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      There have been a lot of comments on right-of-center sites about Cochran being a "RiNO" and using the black Democrat vote illegally to gain an upper hand.  I think (my opinion here, and we all know what they are...) he was really just doing what post-segregation Republicans have always done: appealing to ALL of the voters in the state.  I have to ask: What's wrong with that?  If a Senator is elected to represent the interests of the State, then shouldn't they at least make an effort to find out what those interests are?  Maybe they won't agree with all of those interests - obviously, Cochran doesn't and never has - but they should at least ask.

      As for there being illegalities, it's possible but, not correctable.  By that I mean, under MS law, if someone votes as a Democrat in the Democrat primary for a Democrat candidate, whether their candidate wins or not, they have still voted in a primary for a settled party seat.  For that voter to then vote in a cross-party run-off is, technically, illegal.  But, since MS has a secret ballot, how is anyone to know?  It comes down to personal integrity and honesty: If some people weren't honest, and broke MS election law by double-voting the primary, then the State can try to prosecute them; but, it can't "take away" their vote... because it has no way of knowing for whom that vote was cast (we hope!)

      Either way, I think calling Cochran a "RiNO" is disingenuous, at best, considering his record.

      •  Primary ballots can be tracked. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I don't live in MS, so I don't know what their procedures are.

        But in IL, there is no party registration.  You show up to the polling place, you declare which party you want to vote in the primary for, and that declaration is recorded.

        2014 Primary: Frequently Asked Questions

        Q:  Do I have to declare a political party in order to vote a ballot?
        A:  Yes, in the March 18 Illinois Primary, a voter must declare which political-party ballot that they wish to vote.  In this election, voters will have the choice of a Democratic or Republican ballot. If there are one or more referenda questions in a voter's precinct, a voter may ask for a non-partisan ballot that will contain only the referenda question(s) but no candidates.
        So it is entirely possible that any voter who voted in the first round of the primary would have their party preference known for the runoff.

        In IL, people absolutely do check this kind of thing.

        Rauner voted in Dem primary in '06, gave money to Dems

        Whatever the reason for the vote, Rauner is the first Republican in recent memory to have declared himself a Democrat just eight years before seeking the GOP nomination for governor. It's likely his gubernatorial opponents will make note of the vote and the campaign contributions Rauner has made to Democrats.

        Rauner and his wife Diana have given to the Democratic National Committee, Sen. Dick Durbin, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, U.S. Rep. Ed Markey, Sen. Max Baucus and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, campaign disclosure records show. The wealthy couple have given more than $2.5 million in donations to candidates and causes in both parties.

        "That's all from my wife. She's a very big Democrat," Rauner said of the Democratic donations following an appearance at the Champaign County Republican Party's fall festival Sunday.

        But that's not what the campaign contribution records show, according to the website There are wild inconsistencies in the way the Rauner's campaign contributions are reported. Some are from Bruce Rauner, some from Diana Rauner, some from Bruce and Diana Rauner.

        But the records show that between 1990 and 2008 there were $232,875 in federal contributions, made in Bruce Rauner's name, to groups including the DNC ($40,000), the DCCC ($25,000) and Markey ($4,600). Also during that period Bruce Rauner gave to the Illinois Republican Party ($35,000), the Republican National Committee ($78,500) and Republican committees in New York, Missouri, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

        -7.75 -4.67

        "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

        There are no Christians in foxholes.

        by Odysseus on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 08:53:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  In the end this is positive in that.... (8+ / 0-) shows another path to republics than catering to the extremes.

    Of course this is due to the peculiar election laws in Mississippi.  There will be pressure on legislators to have closed primaries.  Though one wonders whether establishment Republicans will be very keen to do so given that they might be the ones next in need of a safety valve if they are targeted.

    Though even there this is a very unique situation.  You had an especially odious challenger against a genteel old school Republican who had probably unlike most other Republicans in the state some level of rapport with the African-American community.

    Would Sen. Wicker have been able to pull the same rabbit out of his hat?  Roger is probably thanking his lucky stars that he isn't up until 2018.

    The lady was enchanted and said they ought to see. So they charged her with subversion and made her watch TV -Spirogyra

    by Taget on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 03:08:12 PM PDT

    •  Their reactionsim results in feet being shot (0+ / 0-)

      Closing the primaries will result in their party not being able to pull the same kind of tactics on the Dems in the future.  It would appear that the south is, in the very least, moving towards a more moderate position.  The Repubs might need to get a strong Dem candidate primaried by a Dem that they know they can win against in Nov.

      Once again demonstrating the inability of these people to look forward and think past today.

  •  Cochran, Not Stennis (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY, davidincleveland

    If it had been John Stennis, McDaniel would be the nominee.  I can't imagine how young, Black sailors, serving on the USS Stennis must feel.

    In loyalty to their kind, they cannot tolerate our minds. In loyalty to our kind, We cannot tolerate their obstruction.

    by mojave mike on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 05:50:35 PM PDT

  •  Ugh (0+ / 0-)

    Don't Blame Me, I Voted for Kodos.

    by MetroGnome on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 07:59:36 PM PDT

  •  This Could Be A Turning Point for the GOP (6+ / 0-)

    And not a good one (from their POV).

    The bad blood this race generated has the potential to blow the GOP to smithereens.

    I have a feeling thing are about to get even uglier in GOP land.

    Imagine the most profound idea ever conceptualized occupying this space. Now expect exactly the opposite. You'll never be disappointed.

    by Gurnt on Thu Jun 26, 2014 at 06:38:34 AM PDT

    •  It is and it will... (0+ / 0-)

      It is (a good thing) from the point of view of the truly conservative, old-school Federalist Republicans, like myself and it will (get uglier).  That's fine, we can take it.

      The Republican party was established to keep the promises of the Declaration of Independence and correct the obvious omissions of the Constitution.  In our Declaration, we made it clear that all Men (capital "M" indicates all of Humanity, not all male gender) are created equal, endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, etc.  The Republican party was formed to make that promise real and we tore the country to pieces in an effort to do so.  The GOP needs to be reminded that we're the party of inalienable rights.  We need to put the anti-LGBT, God is my President, Biblical Law is the law of the land people out to pasture.  Most of them came from the Old Dixie Democrat party and, frankly, they can have those people back.

      I registered Republican in 1982 while living in the Deeeeep South (ya'll).  Back then, the Republicans were the bikers, hipsters, and beatniks smoking funny stuff in Hookahs and talking about space exploration and the laws of robotics; the Democrats were the guys with crew-cuts wearing overalls with a Bible tucked in one pocket and a bottle of Ol' Grandad in the other cursing people with earrings and tattoos, praying on their knees every Sunday and on their neighbors the rest of the week...

      I want the real Republican party back and this just might be the start of it.  That would be a VERY good thing!

  •  Ok. What did black voters get from Thad Cochran? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, Chitown Kev, Nannyberry

    Lets see some charts on that.

  •  The take is clear: (13+ / 0-)

    Do NOT threaten the A-A community with "watchers," "minders," or any whtey-white, armed "protect-the-vote" bullshit.
    The people will not stand for it. The people will make a stand and turn out.

    "He went to Harvard, not Hogwarts." ~Wanda Sykes
    Teh Twitterz, I'z awn dem.
    Blessinz of teh Ceiling Cat be apwn yu, srsly.

    by OleHippieChick on Thu Jun 26, 2014 at 06:40:17 AM PDT

  •  But here is the problem (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    While Dems handed him his job back, he will hand them nothing in return.  THe only thing Dems and African American voters in Mississippi will get from Thad Cochran's hand is a finger…..and it won't be letting them know that they are #1.

    It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

    by ksuwildkat on Thu Jun 26, 2014 at 06:40:18 AM PDT

  •  Ah, the joy of coalition politics (12+ / 0-)

    Some people think minorities can't play in the big game, but nothing is further from the truth. However small your number may be, you have the potential to tip a race.  That ability = power.  With identifiable positions and leaders, that power can lead to wins even if it doesn't fill seats with your people.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Thu Jun 26, 2014 at 06:51:33 AM PDT

  •  The idea that (0+ / 0-)

    Thad Cochran is going to magically turn into a moderate Republican as some sort of contrition for Democrats saving his hide is absurd.

    It is hilarious to hear Democrats laud this guy as a reasonable, level headed public servant who works in a bipartisan manner for the good of the country when in fact he has a voting record that would make a Tea Partier proud.

    This is how Democrats enable conservatives in their 40 year quest to pull the country rightward, regardless if they win or lose.  Until Democrats get over their pathetic, pansy, perverse need to compromise, this nation will continue to be one party rule.

    •  Where did you get all of (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      denig, stevenaxelrod

      that hyperbole from this conversation?  Sheesh.  The only thing this diary has discussed is that Cochran was the lesser of two evils in the primary election.

      •  Again, wrong (0+ / 0-)

        Cochran is a sure winner in the general.

        The Dems had a chance against McDaniel in the general.

        Therefore, how is Cochran the lesser of two evils?

        Dems WIN in the general when the GOP runs a tea party crazy candidates (Angle, Buck Atkins, Murdoch, McDonnell.)

        •  It might not work that way (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mjd in florida

          McDaniel's poor sportsmanship, as it were, is encouraging his voters to stay home in the general.  So a divided Banana Republican party is not necessarily a winner.  By the same token, the white majority might well have  gone for McDaniel even if he were going to hurt their interests.  If it's going to be Childers' year, he still has a chance.

          Cochran's voting record may be on the right flank of the party line, but he did his job -- porkmaster.  That kept him alive so far. I'm not sure Mississippi expects more, yet.

        •  Not in Mississippi (0+ / 0-)

          Case in point; Kentucky

  •  I thought about that (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mjd in florida, Chitown Kev, petral

    cochran owes a debt of gratitude to black mississippi voters, and I hope he repays them. I read were the congressional black caucus is already saying he needs to repay them for helping them to win.

    mcdaniel is a bigot. cochran may well be one too, but at least he thought outside the box. mcdaniel couldn't, and he lost.

  •  I prefer the color-blind captions below (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, DFWmom

    Thad Cochran owes his job to Mississippi's voters.

    Or Maybe Politicized:
    Thad Cochran owes his job to Mississippi's Democratic voters.

  •  Yep. And when the whites put him back in office (0+ / 0-)

    he is going to shore up their allegiance by openly spurning blacks in some way.  He'll vote to slash a program, or if he's really savvy it'll be something that makes it harder for blacks to vote in Mississippi.

    I'm living in an age that calls darkness light.

    by electricgrendel on Thu Jun 26, 2014 at 08:00:29 AM PDT

  •  He's evil; he won't pay black people back (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dr Swig Mcjigger

    because that is the nature of the American way. Exploit black people for fun and profit.

    He'll embrace  the white supremacist/TBAG/KKK wing of his party because they are who really elected him.

    I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

    by a2nite on Thu Jun 26, 2014 at 08:24:25 AM PDT

  •  Compare the maps with the natural terrain (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Just as an interesting aside, which others have diaried about in the past...

    Look at the satellite view of Mississippi on (say) Google Maps.  Notice anything about the ground coloration?  You can actually make out a natural dividing line that corresponds very closely to the black/white population divide.  The western area of the state, the delta, is rich farmland, where slaves were kept and cotton was grown. So the descendants of the slaves are still the majority.  Trees are rare --  the towns have them, in yards and as shade, but the countryside is flat fields.

    The white areas of the state have a darker shading in the satellite images.  They're mostly forested.  Cotton didn't grow there, so there wasn't a large slave population. But if you zoom in, you can see that many of the trees are planted in uniform rows. They're tree farms, growing wood. It's a major export crop.
    Trees grow in cruddy and rocky soil, like here in New England.

  •  What a victory for Thad. (0+ / 0-)

    He put the tea party in its place using entirely legitimate tactics. I like that this leaves no chance of the Tea Party guy attaining power.

    Hopefully he remembers who handed him that victory.

    The U. S. Constitution doesn't guarantee happiness, only the pursuit of it. You have to catch up with it yourself.

    by Tony Stark on Thu Jun 26, 2014 at 08:51:22 AM PDT

  •  NPR reported that the open primary rules of Mi... (0+ / 0-)

    ... allow any voter to participate in the Pub runoff, only if they did not cast a vote for a Dem in the initial primary.

    I hope they confirm eligibility at the polls, prior to the voter casting a ballot. It could get ugly if McDaniels challenges the vote, and it's discovered that many of Cochran's runoff voters did vote in the Dem primary.

    If that's not the case, I'd still like to know how Cochran activated so many "low-propensity" voters who did not participate in the initial primary... black or white.

    I'm no fan of California's open primary, but events in Mississippi seem to fulfill its promise: the election of the more moderate candidate (I still believe that it only favors incumbents and better connected, better financed,  "establishment" candidates).

    Wouldn't it be amusing if the TeaPuppets decide to "get even" with Cochran by voting for the Dem in November?

    “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing
    he was never reasoned into” - Jonathan Swift

    by jjohnjj on Thu Jun 26, 2014 at 08:59:17 AM PDT

  •  Mississippi is in play for Democrats (0+ / 0-)

    If the Mad at  Thad voters do not turn out for him in Novemeber,Democrats will win this seat

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