Tags: | Mary Landrieu | runoff | Louisiana | Senate | Democrat

Louisiana Democrat Sen. Mary Landrieu Faces Uphill Runoff Fight

Image: Louisiana Democrat Sen. Mary Landrieu Faces Uphill Runoff Fight
(Patrick D. McDermott/UPI/Landov)

By    |   Wednesday, 05 Nov 2014 01:03 PM

The good news for Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu is that she garnered more votes than her rivals on Election Day, but the bad news is that in a two-way race, she will likely lose to the Republican challenger Bill Cassidy.

And there will be that race with Cassidy on Dec. 6.

At the end of the night Tuesday, Landrieu had a 42 percent to 41 percent lead over Cassidy, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

Retired Air Force Col. Rob Maness, a Republican, earned 13.76 percent of the vote, which was enough to prevent either Landrieu or Cassidy from gaining the 50 percent needed to prevent a runoff.

Five other candidates split the rest of the vote.

However, with Maness and Republican Thomas Clements out of the mix, Cassidy has a 4.8 percent advantage, according to RealClearPolitics' average of recent polls.

With the polls and the environment on the side of the Republicans, Landrieu finds herself in "dire straits" heading into the Dec. 6 runoff, says FiveThirtyEight's Harry Enten.

"There's a high probability that in December Cassidy will win the vast majority of the votes cast for the other Republicans [in the Nov. 4 election]. This is illustrated well by the network exit poll, which shows that voters on Tuesday favored Cassidy by 8 percentage points over Landrieu in a runoff," Enten writes.

Enten notes Landrieu was able to marshal enough votes in 2002 to defeat Republican Suzanne Haik Terrell in a runoff by 51.7 percent to 48.3 percent.

A runoff was mostly a foregone conclusion, as the senator mentioned on Tuesday night.

"And now, we have the race that we have wanted for months," she told a crowd of supporters in New Orleans, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported.

"For months, Congressman Cassidy has hidden from the voters of Louisiana," she added.

In fact, the Landrieu campaign had a website, wherewasbill.com, attacking Cassidy's record before voters went to the polls.

Turnout for the December runoff may be lower because the Saturday election will be competing with an SEC football championship game and a hunting season in full swing.

But that could be to Landrieu's advantage as Democrats could have better success getting their voters to the polls.

"I believe a Saturday election favors Sen. Landrieu," state Sen. Ben Nevers, a Democrat from Bogalusa, told The Shreveport Times.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) has put $2 million aside to spend on the runoff, reports The Hill.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) has held back $3.4 million to spend on ads between Nov. 6 and Dec. 6, according the ABC News.

Republican groups already on the ground in Louisiana plan to increase their campaigning to ensure Landrieu's defeat.

"Our efforts will only intensify as we move into the coming weeks," Phillip Joffrion, head of Louisiana's chapter of Americans for Prosperity, told The Times-Picayune.

The challenge for Landrieu is getting liberals, who withheld support for Landrieu before Election Day, to return to the Democratic fold for the runoff.

Many environmental groups did not put any funding into Louisiana because of Landrieu's support for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline and the oil and gas industries.

"We have not been involved in that race because Landrieu had not been an ally on many issues, particularly energy ones," League of Conservation Voters President Gene
Karpinski told Politico before the election.

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The good news for Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu is that she garnered more votes than her rivals on Election Day, but the bad news is that in a two-way race, she would likely lose to the Republican challenger Bill Cassidy.
Mary Landrieu, runoff, Louisiana, Senate, Democrat
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2014-03-05
Wednesday, 05 Nov 2014 01:03 PM
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