The vaunted “72-hour plan” voter mobilization efforts – where phone calls are made inquiring if likely supporters have indeed voted, where doors get knocked on multiple times, where voter registration is verified and where volunteers are accountable to votes in the way that salesmen are accountable for sales – has long been the stuff of Republican success in Mississippi.
But this is a Republican primary. There will be virtually no local races on the ballot statewide. In only one congressional district – the 4th District – is there another contested Republican primary and it’s a hot one between incumbent U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo and former U.S. Rep. Gene Taylor.
The mantle of incumbency gives Cochran serious advantages. There are few towns, counties, regions, organizations or individuals that Cochran hasn’t helped during a long and productive career. More people know him simply as “Thad” than as Sen. Cochran.
But generating and harnessing intensity is the province of youth, of outsiders, and of underdogs. That’s McDaniel’s hole card.
The management and motivation of turnout will decide this race – as it decides most races – nothing more, nothing less.