THE FIX: What exactly is Chris McDaniel doing?

Imagine for a second this alternate universe. In the wake of his June 24 runoff loss to Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran, state Sen. Chris McDaniel concedes the contest. “I don’t agree with Thad Cochran on every issue but the people of Mississippi have spoken and I respect their decision,” McDaniel tells a disappointed crowd on runoff night.

In that universe, McDaniel leaves most Mississippi Republicans with a positive mental image of him. Yes, it was a hard-fought race but McDaniel ultimately did the right thing — uniting behind the GOP nominee. When another major statewide office comes open — say the governor’s race or one of the state’s U.S. Senate seats — McDaniel probably starts close to the front of the line of Republican candidates.

Now, come back to the real world where McDaniel didn’t do any of those things. Instead he has undertaken a somewhat confusing effort to kind-of, sort-of contest the runoff results — under the premise (I think) that there were significant irregularities in the voting that could more than make up for the nearly 8,000 votes by which he lost to Cochran….

…Is there a chance that McDaniel has found a series of smoking guns regarding the runoff vote that he will reveal at some point in the future and, in so doing, invalidate the results? I mean, I suppose so since I can’t rule anything in or out given that McDaniel has presented a total of zero evidence of these allegedly broad-scale irregularities. But, there’s a much larger chance that this whole challenge-but-it-isn’t-a-challenge-just-yet fizzles into nothing, leaving McDaniel looking like the sorest of losers. And no one likes (or votes for) a sore loser.

Washington Post / The Fix
7/17/14