The establishment–Tea Party narrative has been overdone this cycle (see, for example, Joel’s post earlier on how that frame didn’t apply in Oklahoma, where Lankford won tonight), but Mississippi is a clear victory for the establishment, which out-hustled and out-maneuvered tea-party groups in the run-off to drag the lackluster Cochran over the finish line. I thought he’d be a goner in the first round, and was even more certain he’d lose the run-off. The tactics here smacked of desperation, but it was desperation that worked (although some of it’s not going to sit well). I think it would have been much better if Cochran had retired rather than run again, and then there would have been alternatives other than Chris McDaniel, who didn’t inspire enormous confidence. Now, Cochran will win almost certainly win another term, and deep-red Mississippi will still lack a difference-making conservative in the Senate.