Democrats are also watching the primary closely, although no major candidates from that party have announced plans to run.
“The right Democrat could beat Senator McDaniel in a general election,” said Hob Bryan, a Democratic state senator. “I like Chris fine, but his political views are more extreme than most Mississippians. I don’t think there’s any major Democratic candidate who would want to challenge Senator Cochran.”
McDaniel said he also has opposed some of the proposals, and that it’s a specious argument to compare federal deficit spending with states exercising their bonding authority.
Providing some political cover for Cochran is the endorsement he’s received from Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant, a Tea Party favorite.
Stacey Pickering, the state’s auditor and another Republican backing Cochran, said the involvement of outside groups on McDaniel’s behalf will turn off some voters and motivate donors to give to the super-PAC.
“Folks don’t take kindly to being told what to do by folks who don’t live here and do business here,” said Pickering. “I do think you will see businesses and business leaders step up.”