Chris McDaniel vs. Roger Wicker: Mississippi Senate showdown could happen
State Senator Chris McDaniel, a conservative who draws support in Mississippi from the anti-establishment voters, is increasingly hinting that we will see a Chris McDaniel vs. Roger Wicker showdown.
Sen. McDaniel, who represents District 42 in the state senate, came close to upsetting Republican Senator Thad Cochran in 2014. It took Democratic voters going to the polls to keep Cochran’s seat.
Now, McDaniel seems encouraged by recent polling results in Alabama in which anti-establishment conservative Roy Moore just knocked off more traditional Republican opponent Luther Strange in a GOP runoff election for an open Senate seat.
If it can happen in Alabama, Sen. McDaniel believes it can happen in Mississippi and he is hinting that Roger Wicker may be his target. The race would be in 2018.
“A definite decision has not been made,” said McDaniel in a statement, according to WLBT. “But we do know is that we’re preparing for anything at this stage. And we have a lot of good friends out there in Mississippi and our base from 2014. They still feel like that race was stolen from us.
Already, McDaniel has the support of former Donald Trump adviser Steve Bannon, who backed Moore in Alabama and helped him get the primary win there. Bannon has the ability to use his Breitbart News company to aggressively go after Sen. Wicker should they battle.
Emily Wagster of the Associated Press talked to McDaniel this week and found he’s energized by the Roy Moore win and suggesting that Wicker may be next.
“McDaniel argues that Wicker ‘has the same voting record as Sen. Cochran,’ but without decades of good will built up across the Mississippi electorate. McDaniel said that means that he could gather the same anti-establishment support he won in 2014 without Wicker being able to turn to independents and Democrats.
“When we started that race, Thad Cochran was the most popular politician in Mississippi,” McDaniel told the AP. “In Mississippi, we have some folks known by one name. We have Elvis. We have Thad. But we looked at it and saw from the start the beginnings of the philosophical divide that we have in our party. It just has to be exposed properly.”