U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaks during the final day of the 2014 Republican Leadership Conference on May 31, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty

Ted Cruz calls Cochran runoff win, alleged voter fraud ‘appalling’


Senator Ted Cruz is calling for an official investigation into the Mississippi Republican primary runoff, which incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran won in a surprising, last-minute comeback.

“What happened in Mississippi was appalling,” Cruz declared on “The Mark Levin Show” Monday night. “I very much hope that no Republican was involved in voter fraud. But these allegations need to be vigorously investigated and anyone involved in criminal conduct should be prosecuted.”

Cruz’s interview came just as the Mississippi Republican Party officially certified Cochran’s win, by 7,667 votes. But the Texas tea party darling’s support may give Chris McDaniel’s cause added momentum, as he continues his initial calls for a recount, and now, even a rematch.

“Chris McDaniel won a sizable majority of the votes from Republicans who voted in the runoff,” Cruz said on the Monday radio show. “But the D.C. machine spent hundreds of thousands of dollars urging some 30,000-40,000 partisan Democrats to vote in the runoff which changed the outcome.”

Indeed, some Cochran supporters appealed to Democrats to utilize an unenforceable primary voting law in Mississippi that allows anyone to vote in the primary if they plan to support that candidate in the general election. The strategy appeared to pay off: the incumbent won by nearly 8,000 votes. McDaniel’s camp has refused to concede and has launched their own investigation into potential wrongdoing.

An attorney for McDaniel said Monday that they had found “several thousand that are absolutely ineligible voters” and that the only real fix was to hold another vote. Once they finish reviewing the ballots they’d make a formal challenge to the Mississippi Republican Party, the attorney added.