Trailing her Republican opponent Bill Cassidy by double digits, Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu launched a last-minute attempt to energize African-American voters by holding a conference call with President Barack Obama to accept his endorsement, The Washington Examiner reported.
The Examiner did not learn of the endorsement from the Landrieu campaign, but from a tweet sent Monday
by the Louisiana Democratic Party quoting Obama's characterization of the incumbent as "an outstanding advocate on behalf of Louisiana working families every step of the way."
The fact that neither the campaign, nor a state Democratic Party spokeswoman would offer comment is reflective of the tense relationship between Landrieu and the White House, as well as the difficulty faced by Landrieu in trying to distance herself from Obama without alienating black voters.
On Election Day, Landrieu squeaked by Cassidy 42 percent to 41 percent, but because neither candidate eclipsed the 50 percent barrier to win the election, a runoff is scheduled for this Saturday.
But according to exit polls,
Landrieu won the support of black voters by an overwhelming 94 percent of the vote, and among the group of voters who said they backed Obama, she won 99 percent of the vote.
Blacks comprise 30 percent of the Louisiana electorate, which make them crucial to her chances of reducing Cassidy's lead.
The same day Landrieu accepted Obama's endorsement, which she did not announce or promote on her website or Twitter feed, she released a radio ad stressing the campaign is not about Obama.
The ad, titled "Kevin and Gloria," highlights Landrieu's record and concludes with a woman telling her husband that "we are not voting for Obama" but for "us and our future."
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On the other hand, she is now running an ad warning that if Cassidy is elected, Republicans will try to impeach Obama, who remains popular among blacks in the state, BuzzFeed reported.
National Democrats largely left Landrieu on her own following the Nov. 4 election, including the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which almost immediately canceled its television ad buys, according to The Washington Post.
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