Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) leads his Tea Party rival by a double-digit margin, according to a new poll from GOP company Harper Polling.
Cochran leads Mississippi state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R) 54 percent to 31 percent in a head-to-head primary match-up, a strong but not insurmountable lead for the longtime senator.
That lead is driven largely by Cochran’s high name identification. His approval rating with Republicans sits at 64 percent with 28 percent disapproving, while McDaniel’s sits at 33 percent approving, 17 percent disapproving and fully half of GOP voters without an opinion.
That’s likely to change: McDaniel has the backing of a number of well-funded conservative groups including the Club for Growth, and will likely have the resources to give Cochran his biggest test since his first election more than three decades ago.
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