The national media is getting all ready to get worked up with the idea that the primary race between Sen. Thad Cochran and Chris McDaniel is going to be a real contest. Sam Hall on his Clarion Ledger blog noted a story in the National Journal yesterday. After noting that seven sitting Republicans have drawn Tea Party (or Tea Party-esque) challengers, the article states:
Of the seven primary challenges, Republican strategists view the Mississippi Senate race as the only contest where the challenger has a serious shot at winning.
How seriously confused are these articles? Well, a second one, today on the Examiner, illustrates just how confused:
This morning on the MSNBC show, “NOW with Alex Wagner”, she reports that Democrats in Mississippi are registering with the Republican Party so they can stop Tea Party backed state Sen. Chris McDaniel who is challenging Republican U.S. Senator Thad Cochran who will be seeking his seventh term in 2014.
People, could you check something before posting it online? There is no party registration in Mississippi. If I, or, for that matter, the head of the state Democratic party, want to vote in the Republican primary on election day, all I have to do is present myself at the appropriate polling place with a photo ID.
Apparently confusion about this issue is not limited to the Washington DC area– I learned of the article about Democrats “registering” as Republicans from the YallPolitics site. Not sure what agenda is being served by YallPolitics serving up that link, but there it is.
After Sam Hall linked his blog post on Twitter, I wrote:
I am very dubious about that National Journal article. Do you know anyone who says McDaniel has a chance?
No. But I can see it happening. It comes down to how Thad runs. But I still say Cochran walks away with it.
If the national media want to invent from whole cloth a serious tea party primary contest, I wish they’d go to Kentucky to do it.