State Sen. Chris McDaniel is in second place in his campaign for U.S. Senate, according to a recent Public Policy Polling (PPP) survey.
So far, he is the only one running. Incumbent Republican Sen. Thad Cochran has not yet announced his intentions, although his decision whether to seek re-election to a seventh term or retire is expected sometime this month.
Some speculated Cochran was holding off on an announcement until after the Farm Bill was concluded. Cochran currently serves as the top Republican on the Senate Agriculture Committee and has long been a leader on the side of Southern agricultural economics in their struggle over policies with other parts of the country, mainly the Midwest.
A retiring Cochran might be viewed as a weaker player in Farm Bill negotiations. Putting off a decision until after the Farm Bill, under that thinking, is only necessary if he chooses not to run for re-election.
I think it is more likely that Cochran hasn’t wanted the distraction of campaign politics to interfere with policy negotiations. While some are optimistic the Farm Bill will pass before Thanksgiving, many think it could be late December. I think the Farm Bill’s impact on Cochran’s timing is a reasonable theory, but I don’t think it is a deciding factor.
But only Cochran knows for sure.