Thad Cochran

Talk about winning dirty.

Via National Journal:

In a remarkable comeback for a candidate many Republicans had begun to write-off, Sen. Thad Cochran won a surprise victory Tuesday in Mississippi’s Republican run-off race for Senate, dealing a stinging blow to tea party groups who considered the six-term lawmaker their best opportunity to knock off a Republican incumbent in 2014.

He now moves on to face former Democratic Congressman Travis Childers in the general election, a race Cochran enters as the prohibitive favorite in red-state Mississippi.

Cochran’s victory caps what has been the most heated showdown of the 2014 primary season, a months-long battle that pitted the conservative challenger Chris McDaniel and his allies – including groups like Club for Growth and Senate Conservative Fund – against Cochran, an institution in Mississippi politics who had the backing of just about every influential Republican leader in the state and Washington. The race has included allegations of criminal wrongdoing, open questions about Cochran’s state-of-mind and personal insults directed both ways. Establishment Republicans spent millions of dollars trying to prevent a victory from McDaniel, whose history of controversial comments would not only jeopardize their hold over not Mississippi’s Senate seat but damage their candidates elsewhere.