By Robert Romano  ||  It is often said that politics makes for strange bedfellows. But it can also make for messy divorces.

Case in point, the closely contested Mississippi Senate Republican primary, where 36-year incumbent Thad Cochran narrowly defeated conservative challenger Chris McDaniel.

Doing some quick back of the envelope math, of the 30 Mississippi counties won by Barack Obama in 2012, Thad Cochran won 25 of them by 21,731 votes in the primary. On June 3, Cochran had won 26 of those same counties by 11,163 votes.

Meanwhile, in Republican counties won by Romney in 2012, McDaniel was the clear favorite. On June 3, he won those counties by 12,549 votes. And on June 24, he won them by 15,038.

So, to win, Cochran boosted his lead by 10,568 in Democrat counties, compared to McDaniel who increased his lead by 2,489 votes in Republican counties.

Turnout tells the tale entirely.

In Democrat counties, turnout disproportionately increased by 21,439 additional voters to 81,464, a 35.7 percent increase. That compares with a 41,401 additional voters in Republican counties to 294,859, just a 16.3 percent increase from June 3.

That clearly made all the difference in the outcome of the race, which Cochran won by just 6,693 votes.
In the first round of voting on June 3, Cochran was behind by 1,386. The extra 11,000 votes in Obama counties got Cochran across the finish line.

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Robert Romano is the Senior Editor of Americans for Limited Government.