Louisiana Rep. Bill Cassidy's recent impressive fundraising is boosting Republican hopes of unseating Democratic incumbent Sen. Mary Landrieu, which would move the party one step closer to regaining the upper chamber.
According to The Hill
, Cassidy raised $1.1 million during the second quarter of 2013 in his bid for the Senate seat, rivaling three-term Landrieu's $1.7 million take over the same period.
"This last quarter, we were incredibly focused on putting out a good number to show that Bill is the top-tier challenger to take on a sitting senator," Cassidy campaign manager Joel DiGrado told The Hill.
Cassidy's surge has given some critics pause, particularly those who have suggested he would not be as strong as Republicans such as Gov. Bobby Jindal in mounting a challenge to Landrieu.
"Cassidy's locking up all of the Republican donors, including all the Jindal donors," a Louisiana Republican operative told The Hill.
"It'll be very difficult for anybody else to get in the race and launch a credible campaign."
Nevertheless, some are concerned that other Republicans, particularly more conservative candidates, could jump in the race, potentially fracturing the GOP field to allow for a weaker candidate to face a run-off with Landrieu.
She is considered one of the most vulnerable Democratic incumbents this cycle, and polls are also indicating that Louisiana has grown more Republican over the years.
Louisiana pollster Bernie Pinsonat told The Hill that Landrieu is "swimming against a tidal wave as Louisiana pushes away from the Democratic Party. She's still a U.S. senator, she can still win, but in this election it's much different than before."
Republicans need to gain six seats to take back control of the Senate..
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