Some in GOP say expanding voter base helps party

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Associated Press

Posted on June 25, 2014 at 7:34 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 25 at 11:05 PM

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Republican leaders are cringing over Senate candidate Chris McDaniel's complaints that "liberal Democrats" voted in the Mississippi GOP primary runoff and helped Sen. Thad Cochran win a nomination for a seventh term.

GOP consultant John Feehery says tea party members' complaints about black participation in primaries make Republicans look, in his words, "racist and stupid."

Cochran's fellow Mississippi Republican senator, Roger Wicker, says there's nothing wrong with trying to expand the GOP voting base.

Turnout in Mississippi's majority-black counties grew by 43 percent from the June 3 primary to Tuesday's runoff, while in majority-white counties, it grew 17 percent.

Tea party-backed McDaniel isn't conceding, telling supporters he want to make sure the Republican primary was decided by Republican voters.

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