The Club for Growth, a perpetual thorn in the side of many Republican operatives, took a hit Tuesday in Mississippi, where Sen. Thad Cochran survived a primary challenge despite a significant investment from the anti-tax group.
The Club for Growth’s super PAC arm spent $2.4 million against Cochran, according to figures compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics. That’s a significant chunk of the $3.8 million it’s expended so far this cycle against Republicans.
What’s more, the defeat of state Sen. Chris McDaniel means the club has now failed to topple arguably its top two GOP incumbent targets of the midterm cycle — Cochran and Rep. Mike Simpson. The club spent nearly $500,000 for Bryan Smith, who lost his May 20 challenge to the Idaho Republican.
In a Wednesday morning statement, Club for Growth President Chris Chocola delivered an optimistic message about the group’s potential to still help add to the “ranks of pro-growth Senators,” highlighting its endorsements in Alaska, Arkansas and Nebraska races.
“We are proud of the effort we made in Mississippi’s Senate race and we congratulate the winner,” said Chocola, a former Indiana congressman. “We expect that Senator Cochran and others gained a new appreciation of voter frustration about the threats to economic freedom and national solvency.”