Senate Runoff Draws Record Crowd as Republicans Vie for Votes

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Meridian, Miss. It's being called one of the most heated senate races ever in the state of Mississippi. Tuesday, many voters made their way to the polls to cast their vote for either incumbent Thad Cochran or challenger Chris McDaniel. Despite only have 3 weeks to prepare for this runoff election, Lauderdale County Circuit Clerk Donna Jill Johnson says everything has gone smoothly in one of the largest turnouts for a runoff election.

"It's been extremely good," said Johnson. "Anytime there's a second runoff or primary runoff, you know our numbers are way down, so we had expected a good turnout today. The poll workers have been commenting that it's above average for any second primary, so we are very pleased with that."

Several precincts from around Lauderdale County say at times the numbers were down, but they were expecting a bigger crowd as the work day drew to a close.

"By the time they get off work, people should come in more," said Election Official Adrian Naylor. "It's a little bit more than normal than the last election because of the competitive nature of the election that's going on now."

It's this competitive nature that has sparked several ads targeting the other candidate, that has brought many to the polls to have the final say in the Republican runoff.

"We have government of the people by the people and for the people," said voter Fred Monsour. "Of the people means we have the power of the poll. I never understood that as a child; I do now. When we say we have the power of the poll, when we don't like someone or want to elect someone, we have that power."

Local Republican officials say preparation for the November general election is already underway.

"It's important for the Republican Party to come together and support the candidate because it's important that the party maintain the seat and not give it up to the Democratic side," said Lauderdale County Republican Committee vice-president Chris Young. "I think it's a really great statement for Lauderdale County, that we have been a focal point with both candidates spending a lot of time down here campaigning and getting to know the people and garnering support."