Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 13, 2016

Conservative Lawsuit Challenges Cochran Runoff Win

thad cochran

Thad Cochran defeated Chris McDaniel, above, in the GOP runoff. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A conservative group has taken up state Sen. Chris McDaniel’s cause, filing a lawsuit against the Mississippi Secretary of State and the Republican Party of Mississippi  to challenge the results of the recent runoff for Senate.

Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., defeated McDaniel by a 6,700-vote margin in the June 24 runoff and won the GOP nomination.

Now a conservative group, True the Vote, alleged Wednesday they were denied access to election records, specifically in Hinds and Rankin Counties. They also allege that they found evidence of unlawful “double-voting,” in which Mississippians who voted in the Democratic primary later voted in the Republican runoff three weeks later.

But McDaniel and his supporters face long odds to overturn the results of the runoff. Mississippi state election law has no provision for a recount, and observers say McDaniel is unlikely to find enough illegally cast votes to make up the difference between him and Cochran. What’s more, it’s difficult to prove a runoff voter does not plan to vote for a Republican in the general election.

Still, McDaniel has refused to concede in the week since the runoff. He alleges Cochran won with the support of Democrats who did not intend to support him in the general election. McDaniel has also been sending fundraising emails asking people to help him mount his own lawsuit to challenge the election.

In a fundraising email sent Wednesday, McDaniel called the election “a sham” and said his campaign had “already found thousands of irregularities in the voting process.” He also voiced support for the grounds of True the Vote lawsuit.

“True the Vote is concerned with maintaining the integrity of Mississippi’s election process,” McDaniel said in a statement. “The voters should be able to trust that the manner in which their elected officials are chosen is not compromised, and that the rule of law is adhered to. It is vital we be allowed to examine election data to make sure that happens.”

McDaniel’s allies also alleged Democrats were paid $15 per vote.

“Thad Cochran defeated tea party challenger Chris McDaniel by a few thousand votes but we have learned that voter fraud and offering to pay Democrat voters $15 per vote is what tipped the election in Cochran’s favor,” wrote Todd Cefaratti in a fundraising please for TeaParty.Net.

The race is rated Safe Republican by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

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  • m141934a

    So, who is going to investigate the McDaniel campaign over the suicide of his campaign manager? If I were McDaniel, I would fade into the woodwork for a long while.

  • voltaic

    Funny stuff!!! Conservative GOP do-nothings whine and complain about too much useless litigation and what do they do all the time? Sue and take people to court!!! Sue Obama and do a sore loser case in MS!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! What’s next? Sue the Army for not finding any WMDs in Iraq??? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

  • stafford123

    And if the lawsuit doesn’t work, McDaniel will simply hold his breath until he turns blue! Or throw a really big tantrum, complete with foot-stomping and flailing around on the floor! Or take his ball and go home!
    The margin is large enough there is no conceivable way that McDaniel can overturn the results. And all he is doing is damaging the Republican candidate. So much for accepting the will of the people and working for the party.

  • Gene McManus

    So some registered Democrats voted in the Republican Run Off. Big Deal; who’s to say they didn’t vote for McDaniel? That would be the logical way to vote: defeat Cochran in the run-off, the ndefeat McDaniel in November. To claim that the Democrats voted to defeat McDaniel is not only stupid, it makes no sense.

  • Urban_Snowshoer

    Voting in an open primary isn’t fraudulent; McDaniel needs to face the fact that he lost and get over it.

  • docb

    That org is a tea bag nightmare and crooked to the core..They tried all types of nasty voter suppression in CO and were called out and sent away! Rumored to be ALEC/Kocked up Bros funded!

    Verbally abusive and nasty until confronted then they squawk like stuck hogs about freedom of speech!!

    Mcdaniels would be affiliated with such scum!

  • deadgeorge

    Mississippi law specifically prohibits primary voters from voting in multiple primaries. As to the finality of the vote, I agree with you, McDaniel lost, but it hardly makes your point to be confused about or misrepresent relevant law.

  • deadgeorge

    The allegations are that Cochran paid Black pastors to turn out congregations. The logic was, oh here’s someone giving me money to do something of which I’m capable of, therefore here is me doing it. Ultimately, I don’t care who wins, but this comment is ignorant.

  • radsenior

    Sour grapes – he lost! Get over it!

  • Nicko Thime




    Conservative values on display.

  • Urban_Snowshoer

    Can you back this claim up that primary voters voted in multiple primaries, or is this just unfounded speculation like the many claims of voter fraud?

  • Arizona Don


  • Arizona Don

    So what are you a liberal progressive imbecile? Cochran is not an honest man and although he may not have done the fraud himself it was his people who did it and that is not acceptable to any conservative.

    One thing for sure though if you are liberal progressive you do support fraud. Have a nice day.

  • Arizona Don

    If it is illegal it is. Are you avoiding the truth. They have some people who have come forward and admitted to paying several thousand black voters. That is illegal! But is not the only illegal act that happened. And it is provable.

    I’m sure if it comes out that he did lose legally he will get over it. Right now it does not appear that way! If it is illegal it is illegal. Are you avoiding the truth. They have some people who have come forward and admitted to paying several thousand black folks (voters) to vote. That is illegal! But is not the only illegal act that happened. And it is provable. Why do you “not” want him to find out if there was fraud? How would you handle it if you suspected fraud.

  • Arizona Don

    He doesn’t have to and neither do I it will come out I suspect in the investigation which is now going on. So far it looks like there has been. There has according to reports I have heard over four thousand found to date and it has just started. Time will tell.

  • Nicko Thime

    Whine Snivel Cry. What the right does best.

  • Arizona Don

    That is a point. However, a disputable point at best. On the other hand why is it stupid to think a candidate who has liberal progressive democratic monetary support even though he professes to be Republican so far out of line. What makes no sense is for some reason criticizing McDonnell for wanting to know the truth. As a conservative I would support this action even if it were brought by a liberal progressive. Nothing wrong with being certain Is there? I absolutely supported Gore when he challenged Bush (43)

  • Arizona Don

    So what was the margin in the regular primary? You don’t see anything there, huh? I think you would be crying and rolling around in the street trying to get some attention if this were a liberal progressive.

  • Jimbo2112

    This is what we members of the Bar refer to as a happy ending.

  • Santini Perico

    Poor McDaniels, such a poor pathetic loser

  • Layla

    If you’d like to help with the lawsuit, go to Volunteers will be going over these votes, looking for unregistered voters, ineligible voters and duplicates. And yes, if there is cheating going on they will find it.

  • Layla

    If they can gain access to the records, yes, they can prove or not prove fraud.

  • Layla

    You may vote in one primary or the other, but not both. That’s fraud. Early detection indicates that Dems voted in the GOP runoff, for Cochran.

  • Layla

    A Democrat black pastor has stepped forward and said Cochran’s campaign offered his church $15 a head to vote for Cochran.

  • stafford123

    Huh? That makes no sense at all.

  • Wuthie

    I guess in McDaniel’s mind If he didn’t win the vote was a sham.

    Like Sharon Angle. She was recorded asking Scott Ashijan to drop out of the race so she could win.

    The Tea Party group doesn’t like to loose and doesn’t like to reach over to the other side to negotiate. They want it all their way. They cause more trouble than they are worth.

    They’re willing to shut down the government and default on debt hurting thousands of people all to get their way.

    If that is what you want in government, North Korea would make you feel comfy.

  • Wuthie

    Those same people that came forward also said they were paid to say that.

  • Johnny Davis

    No – once you vote in the Democrat or Republican primary in the first round – you cannot vote in the other party’s runoff primary that is the law in Mississippi and in most and maybe all states.

  • Johnny Davis

    have a problem proving enough illegal votes were cast? Are they kidding – a little over six thousand vote margin and already tens of thousands of illegal crossover votes have been found.

  • Johnny Davis

    Nope he got the majority of lawful votes. Cochran stole the race.

  • Prismatic

    Good news for the Democratic candidate. If the GOP is split badly, the race may go against them. Right now they are so mad at each other they can’t see straight. We may see the beginnings of a third party movement as the Tea Party splits off from the GOP.

  • John

    Assume there was massive voter fraud. The only way to right that wrong is to have a new runoff election. That is not going to happen.

  • Arizona Don

    If it isn’t to hard for you try to answer this do you support fraud?

  • Arizona Don

    Supply a link to that and I will believe you! If of course it is legit.

  • Nancy

    They found proof of 4000 votes so far where people voted the Dem Primary and then voted in the republican primary and if you were paying attention at all whistle blowers have come forward who were hired by the Cochran Campaign to pay $15 to black dem voters to vote for Cochran. that is major jail time and they have proof. So perhaps you should rethink you nasty remark.

  • Nancy

    Well they have found over 4000 fraudulent votes out of the 6700 and they just started to look and why if everything is on the up and up would the Secretary of state and the county election officials in suspect counties refuse to allow anyone to look at the voting records. sounds like something Obama would pull.

  • Nancy

    Rumored? would you please give proof of any wrong doing by true the vote? I would like to see it if you can find it. If not just STFU with your Bullcrap.

  • Nancy

    They also voted in the Dem primary which is illegal to do. YOu have to vote one or the other but not vote in both. that is voter fraud. good for some jail time.

  • Nancy

    He also said several other Pastors were paid to do the same thing.

  • Nancy

    No because if the find enough bad votes McDaniel wins by default

  • PictouGene


    You don’t know that. All you know is what you’ve heard, which may or may not be fact, or dis information or straight out incorrect.

    In additon, supose some who voted in the Democratic Primary alsso voted in the run-off: nobody knows who they voted for in the run off. Strategically, it would make more sense for them to vote for McDaniel

  • Nicko Thime

    Do you ever stop whining?

  • Scoop Jaxson

    The argument between the liberty school and the collectivists is not one about improvement, but rather about the best ways of doing so.

  • John

    Good luck. I will believe that when I see It.

  • docb
  • Arizona Don

    No answer again I guess that answers it afterall.

  • exNY123

    you’re LYING.
    they have not found tens of thousands of illegal crossover votes.

  • exNY123

    write in chris mcdaniel!

  • exNY123

    “Chris McDaniel is accusing the governor and all elected officials in
    the state of Mississippi of engaging in a monstrous fraud and the
    inability to conduct a free and fair election.

    His proof? He lost,”

  • guvhog

    The margin doesn’t matter. All they have to do is find enough illegal votes to convince a Judge to trow ovut the results and order a new runoff election that allows only those who vote in the GOP primary to vot in the runoff.

  • guvhog

    They’ve found a least 4000 illegal “Crossover” votes and are just getting started.

  • exNY123


    funny that mcdaniel is offering $1,000 for evidence of illegal votes if he already has 4000 instances of illegal votes.

    i call bullsh^t on you.

  • BAW

    I didn’t read the politico story but from other reports and the McDaniel website, the reward effort isn’t about the thousands of Democrats who voted in the Democrat primary and then illegally in the Republican runoff.

    They are asking for $15 donations to fund rewards that lead to “arrest and conviction” indicating it has more to do with the allegations that Cochran’s campaign paid voters $15 each.

    I doubt anyone will be out arresting the thousands of voters who voted illegally in a second primary (I’m sure they’ll say it was a simple mistake like voting in two states or voting early and on election day, those things happen all the time and no one gets convicted) but paying for votes, that could definitely lead to arrests and convictions..

  • John

    Who are “they” and why haven’t “they” showed any evidence?

  • John

    Maybe you should supply a link where “they” proof that this double voting happened.

  • John

    Present the evidence or shut up.

  • John

    Yeah, and he was paid by a tea party blogger to step forward and say this…

  • Arizona Don

    Nice try! The burden of proof here lies with you.

  • exNY123

    right away you prove you’re a a liar.

    you claim you didn’t read about mcdaniel offering $1,000 reward for instances of voting fraud, yet in the same comment acknowledge that they’re soliciting donations to fund the reward.

  • BAW

    It’s not always easy for me to understand what those who lack reading comprehension skills manage to get from what I believe is clearly stated. But I assume you are saying that because I said I did not read the politico story, I did not read about the $1,000 reward. Is that what you think?

    No, it means I read about it elsewhere. And I even said just that in referencing, “other reports and the McDaniel website.”

    Do you assume that politico is the only place it was reported? That therefore, if I did not read politico I could not have read about it? Or are you just twisting my words to think whatever it is that suits you?

    Either way, I don’t believe there is any point in attempting any sort of discussion.

  • exNY123

    well tw@t if he’s offering $1,000 for proof of voting fraud then he obviously doesn’t have any proof yet.

    pull your head out.

  • Tagg Heurer

    The liberty school recognizes the dangers to liberty posed by collectivists who seize upon temporary crises to centralize government power.

  • BAW

    Well I don’t really see the need for being rude and calling names (or engaging with people who do) but….

    Sure. If you have the evidence someone robbed the bank there’s no reason to gather evidence they shot the guard.

    Teams are set to be reviewing poll books in all 82 Mississippi counties on Monday and Tuesday. Then we should learn for sure who was closer to the truth, you or Johnny Davis. My money is on Johnny.

  • Prismatic

    The notion that Tea Partiers are interested in the welfare of the Republican Party is mistaken. They only care about their issues and their candidates and any compromise for the good of the party is forbidden.

  • Filthy Liar

    Voting in two states doesn’t happen all the time. Neither does the early vote and one on election day. That’d be voter fraud and the incidence of that is incredibly low.

  • John

    I’ve always thought that it is the accuser who has the burden of proof. Interesting.

  • exNY123

    perhaps if you stopped acting like a willfully ignorant aasshhoollee and opened your fuggin eyes.

    if he had proof he wouldn’t need to pay $1,000 for proof.

    and i didn’t engage with you, you engaged with me. as far as i’m concerned you can fuggoff. your ignorant b.s. really isn’t all that entertaining.

  • BAW

    I didn’t whine, “You started it.” I just said I don’t generally see the need to “engage” with people who are rude, shout “you’re LYING,” think swearing and name calling is part of a public disagreement.

    But in this instance I think it served my purposes very well indeed.

  • Grandhuff

    over 4900 at last count. Still several counties to look into.

  • daniel155

    You are not being intellectually honest.

  • daniel155

    Maybe so but it is something that can be found out. Easy to compare Democratic primary and Republican runoff voter lists and see if the same names show up on both.

  • Sandy99

    Dave Weigel In Slate did a piece on this called “Mississippi Churning.” I don’t think McDaniels cares about his party or the state — he and the TPers are nothing but big, fat, sore losers. They keep coming up with a new amount of illegal votes cast. I have read everything from 800 to 40000 so far. They are not going to find 6000 illegitimately cast votes unless, of course, they do some shenanigans. We have seen how McDaniels and his supporters have conducted themselves in the past. McDaniels would be a real turd in the Senate and we already have an abundance of those in Congress already.

  • Sandy99

    4000, not 40,000 — sorry.

  • Sandy99

    I don’t think so. It’s a conservative self appointed vote monitoring group out of Texas. Seems to have risen along with the Tea Party. They are always threatening to poll watch in poorer areas, too.

  • exNY123

    only if your purpose was to showcase the hypocrisy and absolute inanity of the teaparty.

    in that case mission accomplished.

  • exNY123

    @hbmuzik:disqus i couldn’t have said it better myself in describing the teaparty.

    although i would also add

    your pretend allegations about illegal voting by black dems in the rep primary runoff is speculation of the most racist variety.

    the fact that mcdaniel has to offer $1,000 to try and find ONE legitimate claim of fraud should tell even the most dimwitted supporters that he is lying.

    unless you’re a teapartyer in which case no amount of facts can penetrate the perpetual haze of palin/limbaugh/hannity hatefests.

    you are exhibit a.

  • Nat Turner

    The terrorists we are facing down in Azania – S.A.,
    also think they can bomb and shoot their way into
    getting the country to split in two,
    then form their own state
    So it was for the Boeremag who thought they could bomb Nelson Mandela,
    start a race war and drive all “non Whites” out of the country.
    They were jailed in December for this attempt,
    yet Facebook insists on hosting a support page for these race terrorists.
    Please sign the petition against this,
    and read more on the blog

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