Wicker, McDaniel, The Flag, Primary

Ryan Walters and The Curmudgeon Disagree


I have got to know through his writings Ryan Walters, who holds a Master's Degree from the University of Southern Mississippi, calls himself an "independent historian, and publishes The Mississippi Conservative Daily (though it is written in TX and is not published daily). We disagree about quite a few things, though we both consider ourselves conservatives. Ryan is as committed a supporter of State Senator Chris McDaniel as there is. Senator McDaniel came within a hair's breadth of defeating Mississippi's senior Senator, Thad Cochran in 2014. McDaniel, Walters, and many others believe that McDaniel was cheated out of what was his by the shennandigins of Haley Barber and those they consider to be "The Establishment." Their cry for the last 3+ years has been "Remember Mississippi." Now all political eyes are on Senator McDaniel to see if he will challenge the junior Senator Roger Wicker or choose to run for some other statewide office in 2018. In 2014 Chris McDaniel was endorsed by Donald Trump. In the upcoming election the President has endorsed Roger Wicker. Below is a Blog by Ryan, looking at a Recent Mason Dixon poll, followed by my response.

Ryan Walters

Poll Shows Why The Establishment Should Fear McDaniel

Even though there is no current race for a Mississippi US Senate seat, you wouldn’t know it by all the news and speculation. In the most recent news, the Mason-Dixon company recently polled a potential race between Roger Wicker and Chris McDaniel. And the survey of more than 650 Mississippi voters gave Wicker the lead by a margin of 49 to 33.

On its face, the poll seems to give Wicker a commanding lead and provide the Establishment some much-needed breathing room. But there is trouble in the numbers!

For an incumbent US Senator who has served for nearly a decade in that position, not to mention more than 10 previous years in the US House, to be under 50 percent is more than a little troubling. Equally troubling is the large number of “undecided” voters – 18 percent. And most “undecideds” have a strong tendency to break away from the incumbent toward election day.

These numbers are even more problematic given the fact that Wicker has been running against McDaniel for several months. He was once “Senator Invisible,” but now he’s “Senator News Cycle.” One can hardly scroll through Facebook without seeing Wicker’s face.

Now, if the poll had showed Wicker with a solid 60 percent of the vote, or more, along with very few undecided voters, then perhaps a conservative challenger might have a problem. But it didn’t.

(It’s also interesting to note that the poll, on the question of McDaniel vs. Wicker, did not give a breakdown of the numbers, as it did on job approval questions for Trump, Wicker, and Cochran.)

But no one is yet facing Wicker. No challenger has come forward to expose his liberal voting record. And no one has, as of yet, shown the majority of the state’s voters that Wicker has called for the state flag to be removed and placed in a museum. These issues, and many more, will most certainly swing those numbers in the opposite direction.

The numbers certainly did tilt when McDaniel began assailing Thad Cochran at every turn in 2014. And he did it while trying to build an organization and raise money. Now he has an organization, money, two PACs, websites, big backers, and the like.

So let not your heart be troubled. Cochran was once considered “unbeatable.” Polls showed him with massive leads early on in 2014. No one gave McDaniel even the slightest chance to beat Cochran. But he did, in the primary on June 3, and for many of his most die-hard supporters, again on June 24.

The Establishment had better worry about this potential matchup – Wicker vs. McDaniel. And this poll should only add to their stress.

The Curmudgeon

Ryan, you are nothing if not a believer that repeating an inaccurate statement somehow makes it accurate. Wicker is liberal in the same way that Ronald Reagan was a liberal. Both believed that it is better to get things done than to stand outside the process waving a flag of absolute purity. Wicker is part of the Senate leadership that has helped President Trump to make very good progress in getting his agenda enacted during this first year of his Presidency. Tax reform is that latest and perhaps most significant accomplishment for President Trump, the Senate and House leadership, and the Republican caucuses in the Senate and House. Sen. Wicker is a strong conservative and is so perceived in the Senate and the country,

You seem to hang one of your hats on the state flag issue. That is very revealing. One of the ways you would like to see Sen. McDaniel or some other representative of your point of view attack Sen. Wicker for having spoken in favor of changing the flag, and, even more important, to appeal to Mississippi’s voters by supporting keeping the Confederate battle flag in the upper left corner. That means, first, to say to the 38% of Mississippians who are black, “We know that flag offends you and that you cannot identify with it, but we don’t care. We will continue to cram the flag down your throats.” It says to older Mississippians such as I, who are proud of their Southern ancestors and heritage, but who are not racists, and who want a flag that will unify our people, “You obviously are not true conservatives, else you would be indifferent to what blacks and others think and feel about the flag.” It says to Mississippi’s young, college graduate, skilled people, “We are going to stay the way we are. If you don’t like it you can move” (and you are getting that wish, for they are leaving). This flag issue is not about pride in heritage, or acknowledgment of history, but about prejudice and provincialism and fear. And, it cannot be denied that the appeal to a certain segment of those voters, who cling to the flag no matter what, is racial.

Interestingly you leave out some things that the Mason Dixon poll reveals, such as Sen. Cochran, whom you and the McDaniel contingent have continued to savage surpasses even the President in approval ratings (Trump 51%, Cochran 54%) and Sen. Wicker whom you and other McDaniel surrogates have attacked relentlessly has a 70% approval rating among Republicans. RE Sen. McDaniel, I, too, would be interested in finding out both his positives and negatives among the voters.

Mississippians may also take note of Alabama. Roy Moore was hurt not only by the allegations of the nine women, but also by his political history. He greatly motivated Democrats and Alabama’s smaller percentage of black voters to go the polls and vote. In MS a pro-life Democrat could prove a significant challenge to a Republican with Sen. McDaniel’s views and political history.

Then Mississippi Republicans 86& of whom approve of President Trump are going to dismiss the President’s endorsement and likely appeals to Republican voters that he needs Sen. Wicker to help him get succeed in the hard struggles that will continue as he pursues his agenda.

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