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As Republican Mississippi State Senator Chris McDaniel (R-Ellisville) gears up to primary incumbent U.S. Senator Roger Wicker in 2018, he’s testing out a new line of attack: Wicker may vote to remove the state’s Confederate monuments. In a Monday night Facebook post, McDaniel wrote the following:

Why Confederate Monuments Are An Issue

Mississippi State Senator Chris McDaniel (R-Ellisville) appeared at a campaign stop with Tea Party favorite Sarah Palin on May 30, 2014. / Ashton Pittman

Electoral Calculations

  • McDaniel may be banking on using cultural issues like the state flag to energize that same base.
  • Though Chris McDaniel nearly unseated U.S. Senator Thad Cochran in 2014, a poll last week showed the man who was once a Tea Party favorite falling well behind Wicker in a 2018 Republican primary matchup, with Wicker leading McDaniel 55-30.
  • Most alarming for McDaniel, Wicker led him among “strong Republicans favorable to the Tea Party” by 10 points. In order to win, McDaniel needs to shore up his Tea Party base.
  • While McDaniel rejected being labeled a “net-Confederate” by opponents in the 2014 race, he may be betting that embracing symbols of the Old South in Trumpian defiance of the culture of “political correctness” could be his path to victory in 2018.



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