Thad Cochran has been attacked throughout his competitive primary campaign for spending too much time in Washington and too little time in his home state of Mississippi. The Cochran campaign may now be regretting that the senator wasn’t in Washington over the past 48 hours.
The New York Times’ John Harwood has a piece today headlined “How Thad Cochran Hopes to Avoid Eric Cantor’s Fate.” Asked on Friday about the House majority’s leader’s stunning defeat, though, the 76-year-old Cochran appeared wholly unaware of it.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about, what happened in Virginia?” Cochran asks a reporter from Fox News in a response to a question about whether Cantor’s loss raised concerns about his own fate. “I haven’t really followed that campaign very closely,” Cochran says.
When the interviewer tells Cochran that Cantor lost his seat as majority leader, Cochran replies, “Well, it happens. Some win, some lose.”
With a week and a half left to go before his June 24 runoff against state senator Chris McDaniel, the incident is sure to reinforce a charge that Cochran has struggled to combat: that he is simply too old to run for a seventh term.
The latest poll in the race — an internal survey commissioned by the McDaniel campaign — has McDaniel leading Cochran by eight points.