Racial politics churn Miss. GOP Senate runoff

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JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Race is roiling the Republican Senate runoff in Mississippi, a state where the GOP is mostly white and the Democratic Party is mostly black.

National tea party groups say they're working to "ensure a free and fair election" by sending observers to precincts to watch who votes during Tuesday's GOP contest. They're concerned about six-term Sen. Thad Cochran's efforts to persuade Democrats to cast ballots in the Republican primary.

Challenger Chris McDaniel and the tea party portray such cross-party voting as dangerous and even illegal, though state law allows it.

Mississippi voters do not register by party, and state law says the only people prohibited from voting in the Republican runoff Tuesday are those who voted in the Democratic primary June 3.

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