JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Six-term Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran is trying to expand the electorate to survive his Republican runoff against a tea party challenger by reaching out to union members and black voters — two groups that traditionally support Democrats.
Cochran argues that the more people who participate in elections, the better. But he risks a backlash from conservatives.
His opponent, state Sen. Chris McDaniel, says Cochran is "pandering to liberal Democrats."
Cochran says there's nothing nefarious about seeking broad support. The former Appropriations Committee chairman is reminding potential voters that he has brought billions of federal dollars for projects that transcend party lines: disaster relief, agriculture and nutrition programs, public education, military installations and highways
The runoff between McDaniel and Cochran is June 24.