Thad Cochran

Polls show Thad Cochran trailing primary challenger Chris McDaniel 44-52

The Mississippi Republican Senate primary runoff is taking place tomorrow and it looks like long time senator Thad Cochran is going to lose his chance at another term.

According to a new poll by Chism Strategies, Tea Party-backed challenger Chris McDaniel has the support of 52 percent of likely Republican voters while Cochran is at only 44 percent.

The fact that McDaniel is ahead isn’t surprising given the dynamics of the race. McDaniel narrowly beat Cochran is the first round by half a percentage point, and usually the top vote getter in the first round ends up winning in a runoff.

Low turn out runoff elections also tend to favor the candidate with the most dedicated supporters, and in this election that is McDaniel.

The recent primary loss of Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and a likely loss by Cochran tomorrow means establishment Republicans still having something to fear from challengers on their right. Even though the chance of any one Republican incumbent losing a primary is very small, that is enough to change their political calculations.