BILOXI, Mississippi — A new poll shows conservative state Sen. Chris McDaniel with a commanding 12-point lead the runoff election in Mississippi’s GOP primary over six-term incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS).
The Citizens United Political Victory Fund poll, conducted by Kellyanne Conway of The Polling Company, Inc., shows McDaniel has a 52 percent to 40 percent lead over Cochran. In a memo, pollster Conway noted too that McDaniel has an “intensity advantage” as 47 percent of his supporters say they are “definite” supporters whereas only 37 percent of Cochran’s say as much.
“With eight days to go before the run-off election in Mississippi, this poll shows that the momentum is with conservative challenger Chris McDaniel,” Citizens United president David Bossie told Breitbart News. “It is clear that Mississippians want a fresh voice in the U.S. Senate.”
Citizens United Political Victory Fund has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars backing McDaniel in Mississippi.
The poll comes after Cochran has been through a difficult stretch politically in which he said he grew up doing “all kind of indecent things with animals” — then apparently forgot he said that. He also appeared not to know that Majority Leader Eric Cantor had lost his primary race, despite giving public remarks about it two days earlier.
A plurality of Mississippians, however they plan to vote, think McDaniel will win. When asked “regardless of how you might vote, whom do you think will win the runoff election?” 49 percent said McDaniel, while only 26 percent said Cochran and 24 percent were unsure. Conway wrote in her memo that this means the “momentum belongs to McDaniel.”
The poll was conducted from June 12 to June 13, and surveyed 501 likely GOP runoff voters, with a margin of error of 4.4 percent.
The poll comes on the heels of a WPA Opinion Research poll that shows McDaniel with an eight-point lead, and a separate new poll announced Monday from Chism Strategies painting the picture as a much tighter race.
The new Chism Strategies poll has Cochran with a slight edge over McDaniel–48 percent to 47 percent, with 5 percent undecided, a lead inside the 3.3 percent margin of error. Chism’s poll surveyed 821 likely GOP primary voters on Friday June 13. The question pollster Brad Chism asks is whether or not Cochran’s strategy to get Democrat voters to vote for him in the runoff will work. “Mississippi law allows anyone who didn’t vote in the June 3rd Democratic Primary to vote in the GOP Primary runoff,” Chism wrote. “However, the Cochran plan to expand the electorate with Democrats is a hard lift–the most likely Democratic voters are ineligible to participate in the runoff.”