But some conservatives are not waiting for Cochran to retire. A small draft movement has formed around state Sen. Chris McDaniel, who is aligned with the tea party, to challenge Cochran if he runs for re-election in 2014.
McDaniel confirmed his interest in challenging Cochran in a Wednesday phone interview with CQ Roll Call. He said “no firm decision has been made one way or the other.”
Some Republican insiders said Cochran would clobber McDaniel if he challenged him.
“I think he will get his head handed to him, and that will be what he deserves,” Republican lobbyist Henry Barbour said of McDaniel’s potential Senate run. “[But] it’s a free country.”