Team McDaniel has finally filed their official challenge to the June run-off that found incumbent Senator Thad Cochran on top by courting traditionally Democratic voters.
You know, ideology aside, one of the things I appreciate about politics is that there are very interesting stories--and this Senate primary battle has been definitely touched with oddness and tragedy. On one hand, I appreciate that Senator Cochran won the run-off by doing what Mississippi run-off rules basically committed him to do--find voters that hadn't participated in the first go-round. But I also understand the McDaniel case in that, were I a Democratic voter whose primary was decided by an influx of Republicans who selected a candidate that I didn't think would necessarily win or be representative of my views as a Democrat, I might be pretty steamed to have my choice made for me. While the potential policy differences between Cochran and McDaniel don't look vast to me, the absolute primary upset of VA Rep. Eric Cantor by David Brat informs me that subtle differences may mean a lot more to local voters than is superficially evident. So it very well may be that this case is about the right of Republican voters to decide themselves what their primary winner should be, even if the open-primary rules (a thing I have a hard time wrapping my brain around) make it otherwise (there is a possible "freedom of association" argument here, I think, in the sense of ensuring partisan exclusivity of other voters--although that might be a hard Constitutional case to make).
But I think the question comes down to the validity of the votes submitted by actual people, regardless of their party. I've admitted that decisions can come down to a judicial decision of wrongdoing, so I'm not saying that claims of fraud are always wrong. But I do think there is a red flag when I hear that the McDaniel team had to edit out references to race in their press release, as if the race of the contested voters, and not necessarily any violation other than happening to be of that demographically typically liberal racial subset, was what caused their votes to be flagged.
So, one of the issues I've had with McDaniel's claim, even if I'm sympathetic to the idea that he does better represent strictly GOP voters, is that True the Vote is backing him up, and I have some serious reservations about who they think valid voters are. Likewise, using demographics to determine valid votes is a quick'n'dirty and specious tool, and no more accurate than the fuckery Choicepoint laid out in a couple of southern states like Florida back in 2000. That seems like "racially-profiling" voters to me. That can't be right. If Mississippi's open primary rules, which rely on the choices of individuals irrespective of party--which is in no way mentioned in the Constitution, pertains, then I think the likelihood that black voters are customarily Democratic voters shouldn't play a part in determining whether these votes are valid, because the assumption is that individual voters are rational and can make up their own minds. And this should be the case all other considerations aside (because that would be prejudice).
Were we to take seriously, though, the claim that McDaniel was unfairly burdened by losing to Cochran on account of black voters, I do wonder if he'd be considered a victim of the "War on Whites" I've been hearing about today as well.