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Jun 4, 2014 12:07 PM by Associated Press

Mississippi Senate race could include runoff

WASHINGTON (AP) - It looks like Tuesday's primary in Mississippi may not have determined who the state's Republican candidate for the Senate will be in November.

Unofficial returns from 99 percent of the state's precincts show Chris McDaniel with slightly under 50 percent of the vote, and incumbent Thad Cochran with 49 percent. Unless McDaniel can move above the 50 percent threshold, there will be a runoff later this month.

McDaniel's challenge to Cochran is fueled by tea party support. In a slap at the Washington establishment, McDaniel told supporters last night, "For too long, we let them have their way with us."

There were Senate primaries in a half-dozen other states -- including several that produced victories for Republican candidates with the backing of the party establishment. Some of those Republicans are in races that the party has targeted in its drive to pick up six Senate seats and gain a majority there.

Former Gov. Mike Rounds won the GOP Senate nomination in South Dakota, and is favored to win a seat held by retiring Democrat Tim Johnson. Iowa State Sen. Jodi Ernst will carry Republican hopes in Iowa, taking on Democrat Bruce Braley this fall for a Senate seat that has long been held by Democrats.

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