JACKSON, Miss. (Legal Newsline) - When the polls closed June 3, U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran found himself deadlocked with the tea party-supported Chris McDaniel at 49 percent - a figure nearly equaling the total percent of donations the incumbent has received from political action committees.
With only a week to go until the runoff, both candidates have emptied their war chests, spending millions of dollars.
However, while McDaniel's coffers have been primarily filled by individual donations (90 percent), Cochran has relied on contributions from PACs, which have accounted for 42 percent of all donations received, according to opensecrets.org.
As of June 4, Cochran has raised $4.4 million, spent $4.5 million and had a little more than $400,000 remaining in his war chest. McDaniel, on the other hand, raised $1.5 million and spent $1.4 million, leaving him with $60,000 heading into the June 24 runoff.
In all, PACs have donated a total of $1,869,227 to Cochran, with business-based PACS accounting for more than $1 million in donations, according to opensecrets.org.
Aside from leadership PACs, two of the top five industries campaign committees donating to Cochran include lobbyists ($106,050) and lawyers ($143,025).
Conversely, McDaniel has received less than $59,000 in donations from PACs, accounting for four percent of his total contributions.
If Cochran losses next week, it will be the latest victory for the tea party in what has been a string of victories for the tea party this election cycle, with the most current ousting coming at the expense of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in Virginia last week.
Since Mississippi voters don't register by party, Democrats who did not vote in the Democratic primary are permitted to vote in the Republican primary runoff.
Reach David Yates at firstname.lastname@example.org