Democrats responded Friday with a new recruit of their own, former U.S. representative Travis Childers, who announced on the eve of the March 1 filing deadline that he is entering the U.S. Senate contest in Mississippi, where incumbent GOP Sen. Thad Cochran is running for re-election. Cochran first faces a June primary threat from state Sen. Chris McDaniel, a Tea Party favorite.
Incumbents seldom lose re-election, but if McDaniel were to defeat Cochran in the primary, Democrats face potentially better odds in the general election contest, where recent elections have resulted in Democratic victories over Tea Party candidates in states like Indiana and Delaware. However, the Deep South remains an uphill climb for Democrats running statewide.
Overall, the 2014 landscape is tilting in the GOP’s favor and the party is working to put more races in play to improve their prospects for a takeover.