Thad Cochran won a primary runoff by turning out the black vote. Now they are asking — what are you going to do for us?
Already the members of the Congressional Black Caucus are talking about what they want Cochran to do. The wish list is fulling up with ideas like maintaining funding for food stamps, beefing up programs that help poor blacks in Mississippi and even supporting the Voting Rights Act.
“Absolutely we have expectations,’’ Rep Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), said in an interview.
And while Cochran beat back a tea party challenger by reminding voters, particularly black voters, that he brings home the federal bucks, the policy asks are far more liberal than much of what the moderate Republican has championed in his four decades in office.
But that’s the Washington game. Cochran asked for a favor and now his new supporters are plotting how to cash it in.
“My hat is off to Sen. Cochran for being as desperate as he was, to actually go out and up front got out and ask for those votes,” said Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.). ” Those votes were delivered and I’m hopeful he will be responsible and responsive to the voters that pushed him over the top.”
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) agreed that Cochran has an opportunity to support the black community.
“What I hope happens is that he comes to the realization that African Americans are the reason I have this final six years and therefore I’m going to try and be more responsible than I have been,” Cleaver said.
Their sentiment was echoed around the capitol and in Mississippi following Cochran’s win over tea party favorite Chris McDaniel, fueled by surge in black voters in the Mississippi Delta. Turnout increased overall in Mississippi for the runoff, but counties that are majority black like Jefferson County saw voters came to the polls in record numbers.