Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., may find his seventh campaign his most precarious yet. The No. 2 Republican in the Senate faces a tough primary challenge in June when state Sen. Chris McDaniel faces off against him. Already, McDaniel is pulling out all the stops to defeat the 76-year-old Cochran and has the backing of Club for Growth and the Senate Conservatives Fund.
McDaniel is painting himself as a fiscal hawk, determined to curb spending more dramatically than Cochran has during his tenure.
In the Senate, Cochran has earned a reputation as a key negotiator on the Senate Appropriations Committee where he served as the chairman between 2005 and 2007 and helped secure nearly $30 billion in aide for the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina. He has also been a key negotiator on the Senate's version of the farm bill.
The race is the tightest on the list with a recent poll finding Cochran leading 44 percent to 38 percent. No matter who wins, however, Republicans are expected to hold the seat in the solidly conservative state.