Video: Cochran Courts African American Vote in Republican Primary

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COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – The Republican Primary run-off election that caught national attention is here. Tuesday night, the results of a highly contested race between Senator Thad Cochran and Chris McDaniel will finally be determined.

For weeks, Thad Cochran’s made a strong push for the African American vote. A push that James Poe of Columbus believes can make a huge difference.

“I think democrats could cross over. I think the Black vote is actually what could keep Thad Cochran in office,” says Poe.

He voted, hoping the Tea Party stays out of office.

“They’re not loyal to anybody. They’re just a rag tag group of people that I think are detrimental to the country and could be destructive to Mississippi based on our history of race relations,” says Poe.

Since the Jim Crow era, African Americans have traditionally voted Democrat in elections. Lowndes County Supervisor Leroy Brooks says despite the highly contested race between Cochran and McDaniel, he doesn’t think it will be enough for Blacks to switch traditional parties.

“In Mississippi, we’ve become such a polarized electorate that historically Blacks have aligned themselves with the Democratic Party and most whites with the Republican Party. So it’s going to be hard in this given situation to say look, you need to quit doing what you’ve been doing for years and help us out,” says Brooks.

Brooks says if McDaniel wins, we could see a switch in parties, regardless of race.

“If Thad Cochran wins the primary, it will be a more difficult task for Travis Childers to beat him because I think he’ll be able to solidify his Republican Base. If McDaniel wins, that kind of evens it out. I think you’re going to see a full push in the African American community to support Travis Childers but I think you’ll also see white Republicans who are not happy with Chris McDaniel supporting Travis,” says Brooks.

Whether you vote Democrat or Republican in the primary, you can vote for the party of your choice in November.

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