While McDaniel and his supporters dismiss the specter of a Democratic victory in November, some Republicans in the state aren’t as certain. One of them is Clarke Reed, a godfather of Mississippi GOP politics who led the state party for a decade in the 1960s and ’70s.
“It’s not out of the question a Democrat could win if Thad loses,” said Reed, now in his ninth decade. “With our population, any Democrat who gets one out of four white people wins. I hate to put it that way, but that’s how it is.”
Mississippi Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, who campaigned with Cochran on the Gulf Coast Thursday, warned that other states have nominated activist candidates for Senate under the mistaken assumption that no Republican could lose.
“We’ve seen in other states where there was an anticipation that the Republican candidate would win, where that hasn’t happened,” said Reeves.
Reeves emphasized that he would “support the Republican candidate,” whoever that turns out to be, but emphasized: “It’s obvious that Sen. Cochran is very well respected by conservatives in our state, as well as others. He certainly gives us the best chance to retain the seat.”