Daily Caller Midterms Recap: McDaniel v. Cochran Round II; Cantor Faces Primary Opponent

Compiled by Daily Caller reporter Alex Pappas, here’s a recap of some of the most interesting developments in elections across the country over the last week:

Gearing up for McDaniel v. Cochran in Mississippi, Round 2: The Mississippi GOP Senate primary now looks like Chris McDaniel’s race to lose. The conservative state senator will battle incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran again in a June 24 run-off, after winning 49 percent of the vote on Tuesday but failing to reach the 50 percent threshold to win outright. The latest in this particularly nasty race:

Hog castrator Joni Ernst wins Iowa GOP primary; Dem opponent accused of sexism: Joni Ernst, a Republican state senator who famously boasted of castrating hogs in a campaign ad, handily defeated a host of rivals in Tuesday’s contest. Ernst is set to face Democrat Rep. Bruce Braley in November’s race to replace outgoing Democratic lawmaker Tom Harkin.

Lindsey Graham trying to avoid run-off with conservative challenger on Tuesday: Citing his willingness to work with Democrats, a number of tea partiers have fingered South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham as a target to take on in the 2014 elections. But no clear rival has risen yet. With the primary in the Palmetto State on Tuesday, Graham needs to win a majority to avoid a run-off with one of his challengers, who are all polling in single digits.

Will Virginia GOP nominate Ed Gillespie this weekend? Not many people are paying attention to the race yet, but former RNC chairman Ed Gillespie is expected to win the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate in Virginia this weekend at the state GOP’s convention in Roanoke. His likely victory comes after convincing grassroots conservatives they can trust him. Polls show him down double digits on Democratic Sen. Mark Warner, the popular incumbent, though some observers think Gillespie may be able to close the gap if the national political environment turns toxic for Democrats.

Eric Cantor faces primary challenge on Tuesday from college professor – The House majority leader is facing a challenge from a politically unknown college professor who has been hitting Cantor on immigration, with the help of conservative radio host Laura Ingraham. Cantor is expected to win. But his team is worried enough about the challenge that they have been running TV ads and attacking opponent Dave Brat.

States holding primaries on Tuesday:

  • Maine
  • Nevada
  • North Dakota
  • South Carolina
  • Virginia

Ariel Cohen and Katie Frates contributed to this report.

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