Despite strong support from a number of national conservative groups and a favorable political climate, McDaniel’s gaffe-prone and hapless campaign may be his undoing.
That liability was on full display this weekend as he struggled to stifle growing controversy surrounding a lurid and potentially illegal video an apparent supporter took of Cochran’s infirm wife.
And despite having the full muscle of both former Gov. Haley Barbour and current Gov. Phil Bryant’s political operations behind him in the race, Cochran faces a general apathy among supporters and vehement dislike among detractors. And he has done little himself to excite the former or soothe the latter.
Indeed, he spent this past weekend off the campaign trail, stopping back home on Friday, canceling public events on Saturday and jetting back to Washington on Sunday. Meanwhile, McDaniel zigzagged the state at craft fairs, church services and barbecues.
Cochran reportedly makes stops primarily for official business or other largely unannounced events. Though his campaign spokesman told a reporter he had a full slate of events planned for Saturday, the spokesman would disclose only one publicly, and Cochran canceled that appearance after the arrest of the blogger accused of taping his wife. Cochran’s campaign declined to make him available for an interview, and attempts to find him in the Capitol during votes were unsuccessful.