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Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) orchestrated a stunning comeback over primary challenger Chris McDaniel on Tuesday night thanks to an unusual combination of African-American support and GOP establishment might.
Cochran pulled out a narrow victory, taking 51 percent of the vote to McDaniel’s 49 percent when The Associated Press called the neck-and-neck race, with 98 percent of precincts reporting.
His win takes Mississippi off the map for Democrats, who saw an opening in the deep-red state if the controversial McDaniel, a state senator, had nabbed the nomination. They were running former Rep. Travis Childers in case of such a scenario, but now are unlikely to aid the centrist Democrat in his underdog bid with Cochran winning renomination.