Grass-roots zeal favors tea party’s McDaniel over Cochran in Mississippi runoff

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“Grass roots shows up when it counts,” Mr. Kibbe said. “We plan to double down on our efforts to support the grass-roots ground game in Mississippi to make sure Chris McDaniel defeats Thad Cochran in a runoff.”

Some of Mr. Cochran’s allies were less committal about their involvement in the runoff. The National Republican Senatorial Committee said in a statement Wednesday that it “will continue to fully support Thad Cochran.” But while the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which spent $500,000 on pro-Cochran ads, also said it “will stand with” Mr. Cochran, it refused to say whether they would put more money into the race.

And American Crossroads, which has not spent money on the Mississippi race but has financially supported incumbent Republicans elsewhere, said it was focusing its resources on other races.

“Other than Alaska, we have completed our work on Senate primaries this cycle and are now focused on general elections,” said Crossroads spokesman Paul Lindsay. “With the Chamber, the NRSC and a local super PAC already backing Cochran, this is not our fight.”

Republican strategist Keith Appell said that does not bode well for Mr. Cochran.

“Resources are always limited, and they probably have some reservations about the likelihood that Cochran can win,” Mr. Appell said. “The GOP establishment is not all-in for Cochran [and] that’s quite revealing. And there are better opportunities this cycle to put some big points on the board.”

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