Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran beat back an insurgent challenge from conservative state Sen. Chris McDaniel Tuesday night, mounting a surprise political comeback that likely extinguishes the tea party’s hopes of toppling an incumbent U.S. senator in the midterm elections.
With 98 percent of precincts reporting, Cochran led McDaniel by less than 2 percentage points – 4,798 votes out of more than 360,000 ballots cast. The Associated Press called the race for the incumbent at around 11 p.m. Eastern.
Cochran’s narrow victory marks the climax of a tumultuous race that turned into a full-blown Republican civil war after he and McDaniel deadlocked in a June 3 primary. Forced into a three-week runoff campaign, the two candidates leaned heavily on the support of powerful national groups to wage a slash-and-burn campaign on both sides.
Read more: Mississippi primary election results: Thad Cochran leads in nail-biter - POLITICO.com
Cochran pulls out the win with a broad base of support.