Chris McDaniel, as everyone knows, “lost” the Mississippi Republican runoff election to Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.). The quote marks have a reason behind them. In fact, Thad Cochran won with at least 35,000 votes, and maybe 38,000, that normally would have gone to a Democrat. And if enough of them did go to one Democrat or another in the primary earlier this month, those votes can’t count in the runoff. And with that, Chris McDaniel might win after all.
The numbers from the election tell the story. Thad Cochran eked out a win over Chris McDaniel by less than 6,800 votes. That amounts to two percent or more of the total vote cast. So a recount would avail nothing to Chris McDaniel.
But Thad Cochran’s campaign admits: 35,000 to 38,000 voters, who normally vote for Democrats only, voted this time in the Republican runoff.
If less than twenty percent of those turned out to be illegal crossover voters, it would throw the runoff results into question. The Secretary of State would certainly have to order a recount.
…and the law
Election law in Mississippi explicitly provides:
A voter who votes in the primary of one party may not “crossover” to vote in the run-off of another party.
Of course, Chris McDaniel and his supporters do not and cannot yet know the whole story. Nor have they any quick way to find out. The Democrats did not hold a runoff. If they had, anyone investigating the runoffs could ask how much lower the turnout for the Democratic runoff was than for the Democratic primary. All that Chris McDaniel has to go on is:
- As many as 38,000 people voted for Thad Cochran in the runoff who normally vote for Democrats.
- Even the head of the Democratic Party is willing to wager that a significant part of these people voted also in the Democratic primary.
And maybe Chris McDaniel has more than that.
Evidence to support Chris McDaniel?
Jim Hoft, at Gateway Pundit, said as many as 800 people in Hinds County, Mississippi, crossed over to vote for Thad Cochran, contrary to law. And he offered evidence, including the photograph at the right.
Kim Wade, the witness who took that photograph, said this:
I have been at the Hinds County Court house this morning.
Here’s a page from Hinds County voter roll book.
The column on the left is where the voter voted in Democrat primary on June 3rd 2014.
The column on the right is where that same voter voted in the Republican run off on June 24th 2014.
This is patently illegal!
She and others told Mr. Hoft the Thad Cochran campaign asked county Republican officials not to certify their runoff results until the last legal minute to make a challenge more difficult.
Hoft said the Chris McDaniel campaign looked into the voting in ten counties, presumably including Hinds. Bryan Fischer noted this at OneNewsNow.
Fischer also noted other things That Cochran did. These were dirty, but legal. They included hiring, for $44,000, a consultant to make “robocalls” to black voters to scare them into thinking Chris McDaniel wants to stop them from voting altogether. (Chris McDaniel doesn’t object to their voting. He just doesn’t want them, or anyone else, to vote twice. Or to vote in the names of the dead or moved-out.)
More to the point, Thad Cochran did the kind of race-baiting, and boasting about bringing home government grants, one normally sees from Democrats. And those who voted in the runoff, want more of the same. The question now is: had they the perfect right so to vote? The McDaniel campaign called for volunteers to find out.
Some of McDaniels’ supporters want him to start at once recruiting people for a write-in campaign. They think this challenge is a waste of time. Actually, it wouldn’t be. The evidence they have so far presented would motivate people to come out and write him in as nothing else would.
This Facebook page appeared within hours of the Associated Press calling the runoff for Cochran. At last inspection it had 3,145 “likes.”
Judson Phillips, of Tea Party Nation, addressed the question of people splitting their vote. He suggested that cannot happen.
Mississippi is such a red state that even if the vote were split between Cochran, McDaniel and the unknown Democrat, the Democrat would still finish third.
The problem: where did those 38,000 votes come from? In fact, one-third of Mississippi voters are black. They almost always vote Democratic. If Thad Cochran and Chris McDaniel split the other two-thirds, the eventual winner would have a razor-thin margin and might need to face a three-way recount.
But one supporter of the write-in campaign wouldn’t care if the votes did split three ways:
I will write in Chris in November, even if it means handing the election to Travis Childers. I would rather have a Democrat who is honest about being a Democrat in that seat because I know what he stands for than to have a Democrat up there who claims to be a Republican.
Travis Childers has a record that already has other Democratic politicians, in States Barack Obama lost each time, looking to him for inspiration. He ran for Congress in 2008 from the First District in a special election.
He ran as a conservative Democrat who was pro-gun, pro-life, and against gay marriage. Capitalizing on growing Republican discontent with President Bush over the Iraq war and a weak Republican challenger who hailed from the Memphis suburbs, Childers coasted to victory with 54 percent of the vote.
He kept that House seat in November and ran sixteen points ahead of Barack Obama. But in 2010, he lost the seat in “The Republican Wave.”
If enough Tea Party people believe Thad Cochran would be no better than Travis Childers, he might win. Suppose Austin Barbour manages to scare enough Mississippians into believing election officials always throw out write-in votes and never count them. Would those people vote for Thad Cochran himself? Hardly. They would sit on their hands. Or they would write in Chris McDaniel’s name and prepare to sue to have their write-in votes counted anyway. (Thus far, Austin Barbour and only Austin Barbour has alleged that Mississippi never counts write-in votes. One site shows Mississippi usually does not count write-in votes – for President and Vice-President. No site says anything about Mississippi not counting write-in votes for other offices.
Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.
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