In short, Thad Cochran beat Chris McDaniel handily in the five, non-Hattiesburg, in-state media markets. He beat McDaniel comfortably even when Hattiesburg is thrown into the mix. He lost solely because he ran well behind his showing in the rest of Mississippi in these fringe, out-of-state media market counties where it is very expensive to advertise per Mississippi voter reached owing to the high percentage of non-Mississippi residents in the market.
That’s the sort of result you would expect to see if only one candidate were on the air in those markets, or if one candidate focused its media more closely on certain parts of that market (i.e., perhaps McDaniel bought on Memphis drive time radio while Cochran did not).
If that did happen, if Cochran’s outside allies avoided these markets because of the cost while McDaniel’s allies did not, it was the classic case of penny wise and pound foolish. Had Cochran simply run even with McDaniel in those counties, he would have won enough votes to have won without a runoff. Had he replicated his showing in the Columbus market, he would have won with thousands of votes to spare.
Thursday, June 5, 2014
Media Markets and Missisippi
At National Review Online, Henry Olsen suggests that Thad Cochran has to face a runoff because of inept media buys: