State of the Louisiana Senate Race
As we enter the final hours before the Nov. 4 election, one thing is abundantly clear: this is not where Senator Landrieu wanted to be or thought she would be when she announced her re-election campaign.
Landrieu has trailed in the polling averages since January and and has only led in one non-partisan poll. She is arguably the most vulnerable Senate Democrat on the ballot this fall. And in a sign of just how shaky her prospects are, Landrieu fired her campaign manager a month before the November election.
Landrieu enters Election Day polling well below the 50 percent she needs to avoid a runoff election and persistently trailing in a head to head matchup against Dr. Bill Cassidy. As the New York Times reported yesterday, her supporters are “exhausted” and Landrieu just wants the race to be over. Given these realities, it is no wonder Landrieu and her allies think her only chance for survival is winning outright and avoiding a runoff.
Her campaign is not hiding from that narrative. Her campaign spokesman was blunt about expectations last week – “We are going to win on Tuesday,” Fabien Levy told NOLA.com
It’s clear: anything short of an outright victory tonight will be a failure for the Landrieu campaign.
Landrieu finds herself in this desperate position on Election Day because of three reasons: her record, her out of touch comments and sheer math.
ObamaCare – Landrieu cast the deciding vote for ObamaCare, which has been a disaster for Louisiana. Tens of thousands of Louisianians received health plan cancelation notices, many saw their hours and pay cut because of ObamaCare regulations and Louisiana families saw their health insurance rates increased by as much as 20 percent.
Abortion – Despite representing the most pro-life state in the country, Mary Landrieu has a zero percent pro-life voting record during the last six years. She had 14 opportunities to show she respects the sanctity of life… she voted the wrong way every time.
Energy Issues – Landrieu said her top priority would be to pass the Keystone XL Pipeline, but she has failed. She said it was “not my job” to convince President Obama to approve the Keystone Pipeline. On top of the Keystone failure, Landrieu failed to get offshore drilling revenue sharing reform passed. Landrieu’s failure on energy issues has even prompted energy executives to question their support for her candidacy.
Rubber Stamp – During 2013, Landrieu voted 97 percent of the time for President Obama’s failed agenda. Obama has a 39 percent approval rating in Louisiana.
Air Mary – Late this summer, it came to light that Landrieu had illegally spent $33,000 on 43 charter flights for campaign purposes. Despite promises to come clean with records of all her Senate travel, Landrieu failed to release records of travel between 1997 and 2002.
Residency – Landrieu has lived in Washington, D.C. for the last 17 years and currently lives in a $2.5 million Capitol Hill mansion.
Louisianans are racist – Major flub or act of pure desperation – either way, Landrieu’s assertion that Louisiana voters are sexist and racist was an inexcusable act that reveals a lot about the disconnect between Landrieu and Louisiana voters.
Landrieu has trailed in the polling averages all year and hasn’t led a head to head, nonpartisan poll in months. She trails by just less than 5 percent in the Real Clear Politics polling average and a head to head race between Sen. Landrieu and Dr. Cassidy is seen by prognosticators as increasingly favoring Dr. Cassidy. The New York Times, Washington Post, FiveThirtyEight.com, Roll Call and others rate Cassidy the favorite in a head to head matchup.
Moreover, one of Landrieu’s key constituencies, Louisiana African American voters, “didn’t overwhelm the early voting period statewide” as the Landrieu campaign had banked on. That bad news was compounded for the Landrieu campaign when an analysis from pollster John Diez found they largely turned out high-propensity African American voters during the early voting period – meaning Landrieu can’t count on those reliable voters turning out today.
Put it all together and it’s clear – Sen. Landrieu has only one, longshot hope, and that is to win outright today. She knows it and her supporters know it. But that outcome looks increasingly unlikely, meaning an “exhausted” campaign with a tired, unpopular candidate may have to slog through another month of campaigning.
In other words, she is “a goner.”