Hall: What do we know in Senate race?

What’s next?

Key McDaniel advisors and colleagues have started to quietly admit that they realize a challenge is a long-shot. Even McDaniel himself has started toning down some of his public rhetoric.

It seems the smartest move for McDaniel would be to concede the race but vow to continue the fight for the conservative principles for which he stands. He has a legitimate philosophical argument against how Cochran won the primary — by relying on Democratic votes — and that resonates even with Cochran supporters. Come 2015, when turnout will be much different in several key geographic areas because of local Democratic primaries, McDaniel could be tough to beat.

But I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see McDaniel launch a legal challenge. That said, if he mounts a long-shot legal challenge and gets embarrassed in court, it could cost him his political future. That’s a real concern for those close to him, and it seems to be a growing concern for him as well.

Sam Hall
Clarion Ledger