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We Saw a Political 'Perfect Game' Last Night

Thad Cochran pulled off a remarkable win, say pundits
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 25, 2014 1:47 PM CDT
We Saw a Political 'Perfect Game' Last Night
Thad Cochran addresses supporters and volunteers at his runoff election victory party Tuesday, June 24, 2014, at the Mississippi Children's Museum in Jackson, Miss.   (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

(Newser) – Political pundits are buzzing about Thad Cochran's primary win last night, because it "broke almost every rule of politics," writes Chris Cillizza at the Washington Post. Cochran overcame a more naturally politically talented opponent, grew the electorate in his favor by recruiting African-American voters, and managed to run on the value of incumbency. "Doing one of those things in three weeks time would be astounding," Cillizza writes. "Doing all three is like watching someone pitch a political perfect game; you'll not see a victory like this one any time soon."

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Cochran's secret was convincing black Democrats to come out for him, along with more of his own supporters in his party's base. He also raised $1 million in part by turning to Washington—Politico has a piece detailing how the Beltway machine whirred to life for Cochran, with Mitch McConnell, for example, raising $800,000 for him in one night. Most of that money went to ads touting the value of Cochran's Senate seniority, which essentially makes this "a victory for pork," writes Donna Ladd at the Guardian. Cochran has a dodgy history on race, but he's a veritable "pork king," and Mississippi relies on federal funds. So "Democrats apparently held their noses" and voted for him. (Read more Thad Cochran stories.)

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