Blow for Cochran as Rove's Crossroads Sits Out Mississippi Run-Off

Image: Blow for Cochran as Rove's Crossroads Sits Out Mississippi Run-Off

Thursday, 05 Jun 2014 07:35 AM

By Elliot Jager

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Karl Rove's American Crossroads, a key establishment Republican source of campaign money, will not invest further on behalf of incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran, who is facing tea party insurgent Chris McDaniel in the June 24 Mississippi run-off, The Hill reported.

Out of the 300,000 or so votes cast, McDaniel led by less than 1 percentage point over Cochran, Politico reported. Fewer than 5,000 votes were siphoned off by the unknown Thomas Carey forcing the run-off, WPAT reported.

"Other than Alaska, we have completed our work on Senate primaries this cycle and are now focused on general elections," Paul Lindsay, communications director for American Crossroads, told The Hill. "With the Chamber [of Commerce], the [National Republican Senatorial Committee], and a local super PAC already backing Cochran, this is not our fight."

Rove, the Republican political strategist, is a co-founder of American Crossroads

Analysts say Cochran will need to work extra hard to generate enthusiasm for his candidacy, according to the Hill.

His spokesman, Jordan Russell, said that tea party-aligned groups had outspent Cochran by $3 million. "We took the best $5 million punch the Washington-based groups had to throw," he said, according to Breitbart.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee told NBC News that it will continue to help finance Cochran. "We are all in for Thad," said spokesman Brad Dayspring.

Rob Engstrom, national political director of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, tweeted that the organization "will stand by Senator Cochran." He tweeted later that, "Chris McDaniel is a personal injury lawyer. Personal injury lawyers are not conservative," Breitbart reported.

FreedomWorks, the tea party political action committee, announced that it would "double down" on behalf of McDaniel. Likewise, the Club for Growth, which backs candidates who favor small-government and low taxes said it "will vigorously pursue this race to its conclusion," on behalf of McDaniel, The Hill reported.

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