Christian Science Monitor: McDaniel Could Be the Next Ted Cruz

Who could be the next Ted Cruz? Top 10 tea party primaries of 2014
In five years, the tea party has launched some of the most charismatic and controversial Republicans in office today, including Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Rand Paul of Kentucky. Who are the movement’s top candidates this cycle, and what are their prospects? Here’s a look:
1. Mississippi: Chris McDaniel vs. Thad Cochran
In the early going, tea party-backed state Sen. Chris McDaniel was seen as the strongest challenger to a sitting US senator this cycle. He’s a young (early 40s), energetic state senator and former talk radio host, with six years’ service in the state legislature – and he believes six-term Sen. Thad Cochran (R) is part of the problem in Washington.
The challenge for Mr. McDaniel is to persuade enough Republican voters in the June 3 primary to toss out a senior senator who is skilled at bringing federal dollars to Mississippi.
The tea party movement gives McDaniel’s campaign energy on the ground, though Senator Cochran supporters are starting to wake up. Cochran beat McDaniel in fundraising for the first quarter of 2014 by more than 3 to 1.
If McDaniel pulls off an upset, the Democrats have a candidate ready to take him on: former US Rep. Travis Childers. Democrats hope McDaniel wins the primary, then blows up in the general, as has happened in the last two cycles with tea party-backed nominees. A Democratic pickup in deep-red Mississippi is improbable, but if it happened, that would set back the Republican drive to retake the Senate.
By Linda Feldman