Democrats say it’s a “sign of desperation” as Cochran runs on support for free healthcare and SNAP
An ad for incumbent Senator Thad Cochran is urging Democrats to vote for him in the Republican primary Tuesday.
“The decision on who is going to be our next senator is going to be made in the republican primary,” the full page ad, which ran in the Mississippi Link, reads. “We’re asking democrats to cross over and vote in the republican primary to ensure our community’s interest is heard.”
Mississippi Democratic Party Chairman Rickey Cole called the ad “a sign of desperation.”
“I think they’ve discovered that they can’t convince Republicans to vote for him in this primary and they’re trying to reach out in the last minute to whomever they can reach out to in the Democratic party,” Cole said.
Former congressman Travis Childers is running in the Democratic primary.
The ad, which was paid for by a group called “All Citizens of Mississippi,” targets black Democrats in particular, touting Cochran’s bringing in $18 million in funding for historically black colleges and protections he claims to have brought in for minority communities.
The ad also highlights Cochran’s record on healthcare, citing the creation of 20 free medical clinics and the Jackson Medical Mall.
In perhaps an even more unusual gesture than a Republican bragging about achievements in free healthcare, though, the ad proudly proclaims Cochran’s support for the recent farm bill that provides funding for food stamps.
“He’s done nothing of substance to serve Democrats of this state for 40 plus years, and now at the eleventh hour at the end of his career he’s trying to reach out to folks that he doesn’t really have much of a relationship with,” Cole said.
But the ad claims Cochran’s “long record of service gets praise from Democrats & Republicans” and that he “treats constituents fair and impartial regardless of political affiliation.”
Rickey Cole doesn’t buy it.
“If he had wanted to be a senator for all Mississippians, he should’ve at least run a campaign that appealed to all Mississippians. You don’t go from bragging for six months that you voted 100 times against Obamacare, and then in the last three days of the campaign start asking Democrats for their support. That borders on schizophrenia.”
A Chism Strategies poll Friday showed Thad Cochran’s challenger, Chris McDaniel, with a 2-point lead. But the survey noted that strong Democratic crossover could put Cochran over the top. According to one Democratic operative, a significant number of 2010 and 2012 Democratic primary voters have indicated that they plan to vote in the Republican primary this year.
“Don’t do it,” Cole said in a message to Democrats. “If you are a Democrat, we’ve given voters a good choice in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate and Congress. We have candidates who are viable, who can win, and we need to stick to our candidates and choose our own nominee and let Republicans choose their nominee.”
Mississippi’s Republican and Democratic primaries will take place statewide June 3.