Irony of ironies: McDaniel seemingly had it won, right up until an aspiring political blogger and McDaniel supporter made his way into a nursing home, took a photo of a bed-ridden Rose Cochran, posted it online in a video and then got arrested — along with three other alleged co-conspirators. Internal Cochran polls showed their guy losing serious ground. Internal McDaniel polls showed their guy leading. An aggregate of public polls showed McDaniel with the momentum.
Had it not been for Clayton Kelly and whomever conspired with him to get that photo, McDaniel would have likely won. Conspiracy theorists will say the Barbours somehow manipulated Madison Mayor Mary Hawkins-Butler into making the arrests and pushed District Attorney Michael Guest into pressing felony charges. And while the charges do seem a little extreme to me, those conspiracy theorists are, for lack of a better description, guano crazy.
Yet the McDaniel campaign and its supporters have blamed everyone for the challenger’s misfortune, with Henry Barbour, nephew of the former governor, now their favorite whipping boy.