State Sen. Chris McDaniel won 157,733 votes, or 49.46 percent, in the first-round June 3 election compared with 156,315 votes and 49.02 percent for Sen. Thad Cochran, who’s in danger of losing his bid for a seventh term in a runoff on June 24. McDaniel led Cochran by 1,418 votes in the first round.
A runoff is needed because no candidate won a majority of votes. The McDaniel-Cochran runoff won’t include Thomas Carey, who won 4,854 votes, or 1.52 percent of the total, as the third Republican candidate in the June 3 primary.
The turnout of 318,902 represents an increase of 8.4 percent from 294,112 in the state’s 2012 presidential primary.
Historical trends point to a dropoff in turnout in the Republican Senate runoff. The last time that turnout increased in a primary runoff was in 1984, in a Republican U.S. Senate contest in Oklahoma, according to the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia. Just 11 states, most of them in the South, provide for primary runoffs.
Here’s a look at the Cochran-McDaniel breakdown of the vote in the 20 counties that cast the most votes:
While Cochran won 52 counties compared with 30 for McDaniel, the challenger scored a huge win in his home county of Jones, where McDaniel won 85 percent of the vote, and also won decisively in other southeastern Mississippi counties north of the Gulf Coast.
McDaniel’s 9,578-vote margin of victory in Jones County nearly equaled the combined 9,623-vote margin for Cochran in the Jackson-area counties of Hinds, Rankin and Madison.