For the second time, the extreme political right overplayed its hand and delivered a Republican U.S. Senate seat to Democrats. Next year, Mississippi could provide the third example that Americans are not as kooky as it sometimes appears.
Qualifying opens Jan. 2 for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Republican Roger Wicker, who is expected to seek his second full term. Wicker replaced former Sen. Trent Lott, who resigned in 2007. Lott had succeeded former U.S. Sen. John Stennis, the last Democrat from Mississippi in the Senate, on Jan. 3, 1989.
On the sidelines is state Sen. Chris McDaniel, R-Ellisville, who nearly unseated U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran in 2014 primary voting.
McDaniel has not said whether he challenge Wicker in the June 5 primary. If he does, though, the setup for a Democratic challenge is clear. Appeals to emotion have always been strong in politics. Culture warriors such as McDaniel and Moore get a lot of traction, but Alabama showed exploiting cultural division is not enough, or at least not quite enough, to win.