Club for Growth says Cochran got lesson in ‘voter frustration’

In a tight runoff contest, Sen. Thad Cochran manages to eke out a victory against his tea party challenger, Chris McDaniel.​ (WLOX)

The tea party group that spent the most money trying to defeat Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) congratulated the long-serving Republican on his victory Wednesday morning but said it believes he came away with a new understanding of the frustrations of conservative voters.

"We are proud of the effort we made in Mississippi’s Senate race and we congratulate the winner,” said Chris Chocola, president of the anti-tax Club for Growth, in a statement. “We expect that Senator Cochran and others gained a new appreciation of voter frustration about the threats to economic freedom and national solvency."

The Club for Growth spent more than $3.1 million backing state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R), according to the Sunlight Foundation. Cochran edged out McDaniel in Tuesday's runoff, capping one of the nastiest and most competitive contests in recent memory.

Chocola suggested his group is taking a long-term view of its investment in the race. He pointed to 2004, when the Club for Growth backed Republican Pat Toomney against then-Republican Sen. Arlen Specter. Toomey lost but defeated Specter six years later when the senator became a Democrat.

Chocola concluded by mentioning Republican Senate candidates who are still running in 2014.

“We will continue to work hard to add our current endorsees Tom Cotton, Ben Sasse, and Dan Sullivan to the ranks of pro-growth Senators next year. It is in that context that we view yesterday’s election result in Mississippi," said Chocola.

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.
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