The National Republican Senatorial Committee tells NBC News that it's "all in" for Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., in his likely runoff against Tea Party challenger Chris McDaniel.
"We are all in for Thad," NRSC spokesman Brad Dayspring said.
Cochran and McDaniel appear headed for a June 24 runoff after no candidate reached 50 percent of the vote in the June 3 Mississippi GOP Senate primary. With 99 percent of votes in, McDaniel has 49.6 percent and Cochran 48.9 percent.
And while Cochran could very well be the underdog (incumbents this cycle haven't fared well in runoffs), Dayspring says that McDaniel has challenges, too. "He's broke, has scandal still hanging over him, national attention now on his controversies,” he said. “It's going to be expensive and outside parties will need to invest and help, but this remains a dead heat."
Although the NRSC backed Cochran in the primary, there was some doubt how enthusiastically it might back him in the runoff -- given the chance that McDaniel could wind up as the party's nominee in November.
First published June 4 2014, 8:59 AM
Mark Murray is the Senior Political Editor at NBC News, where he covers politics for the network, writes and edits its popular â€œFirst Readâ€ blog, and appears daily on MSNBC and Washington DCâ€™s NBC affiliate to discuss the latest political news.
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He also serves as a key manager of NBCâ€™s political coverage, giving direction to the networkâ€™s reporters and producers.
Before joining NBC News in 2003, Murray spent five years as a reporter at National Journal. And he has written freelance articles published in the New York Times (Sunday op-ed page), the Atlantic Monthly, the Washington Monthly, Washingtonian magazine, and Washington City Paper.
Murray is a 1996 graduate of the University of Texas at Austin (B.A.), and he resides in Washington DC.