After reportedly losing the Republican US Senate primary in Mississippi, Chris McDaniel gave what was anticipated to be a concession speech. But it was no concession speech.
Instead of conceding, McDaniel claimed the election had been stolen from him and said that “liberal Democrats” were able to decide the Republican primary. Presumably McDaniel was referring to Senator Thad Cochran’s late effort to rely on African-American support in the open primary – which is legal. Though the depth of that support is hard to quantify.
A defiant Chris McDaniel walked up to the podium at his election night headquarters here after the Republican runoff was called for his opponent Sen. Thad Cochran — and then he didn’t concede.
“We had a dream and the dream is still with us,” said McDaniel to an increasingly vocal crowd, telling them that the fight is not over. “Today the conservative movement took a backseat to liberal Democrats in Mississippi.”
But McDaniel also referred to the Mississippi Republican machine run by Haley Barbour, which engaged in some shady behavior, as not running a fair election and vowed to continue to fight the results. That shady behavior by the Barbour machine included holding ballots back in certain counties until after it was clear what margins were needed for victory. Behavior that is typically a sign of election fraud.
Whether or not the voting irregularities in Mississippi were a result of dysfunction or illegality is unknown at this point. What is known is that the conservative movement is furious with the GOP establishment and that the 2016 Republican presidential primary is going to be brutal.