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Mary Landrieu Leads Opponents In Louisiana Senate Race, But Below 50%

louisiana-welcome

One of the states seen as  a potential Republican pick up in the Senate this year, where Mary Landrieu finds herself having to win re-election in a state where Mitt Romney won by seventeen points in 2012. Landrieu’s principal opponent in the race is Republican Congressman Bill Cassidy, but since this is Louisiana she’ll be facing a wide open field on Election Day 2014, with the possibility of a runoff a month later if nobody manages to get 50% of the vote. As things stand right now, Landrieu leads her opponent, but is below 50% and therefore likely to face Cassidy in a runoff:

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) leads her GOP opponents in a new survey from conservative pollster Magellan Strategies — but falls far below the 50 percent threshold to win her race outright in November.

Landrieu pulls 39 percent to Rep. Bill Cassidy’s (R-La.) 26 percent in the automated poll of registered voters.

While the poll finds a notably high number of undecided voters in the poll, at 28 percent, those numbers indicate that Landrieu and Cassidy are likely to
face off in a December runoff, as Louisiana’s all-party primary requires a candidate to win 50 percent of the vote.

Head to head polling between Landrieu and Cassidy has shown the race to essentially be within the margin of error, but given that such a race wouldn’t even take place until December and that the course of the campaign will determine what kind of race the runoff will be, it’s too early to say anything definitive about that particular race.

One possibility that this does bring up, though, is that we may not know who controls the Senate until some time in early December. In addition to the Louisiana race, there will also be a hotly contested Senate race in Georgia where Michelle Nunn will face off against the eventual winner of the Republican primary. Like Louisiana, Georgia law mandates a runoff if no candidate gets above 50% of the vote. A Georgia runoff would not take place until early January 2015, after the new Congress has actually been seated.. If the battle for Senate control is close, then it could hinge on whether the GOP holds on to the seat in Georgia and/or wins the race in Louisiana. In either case, it would make the post-election period very interesting to say the least.

Note: This article was changed to reflect changes to Georgia election law that place the date of any runoff until after the new year.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. PD Shaw says:

    I think a runoff is a foregone conclusion. Landrieu had to face a runoff in 2002, the last time she ran in a midterm. As indicated by Doug, the situation has become more unfavorable.

    The poll shows the favorable/unfavorables for the two leading candidates as:

    MARY LANDRIEU 41.0% Favorable / 52.2% Unfavorable
    BILL CASSIDY 25.6% Favorable/ 11.9% Unfavorable

    Do you approve or disapprove of the job MARY LANDRIEU is doing as U.S. SENATOR?

    TOTAL APPROVE 41.8%
    TOTAL DISAPPROVE 52.9%

    It seems to me that Landrieu has to drive up Cassidy’s negatives without driving up her own.

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  2. al-Ameda says:

    @PD Shaw:
    I agree with you on all points.

    It will be difficult to go negative on Cassidy in a way that will make any difference at all.

    To me Cassidy is a generic Republican hypocrite. He voted for Medicare savings as in ACA, now he’s out there claiming that “Obamacare will cause millions of seniors to lose their current Medicare Advantage – I’m working to protect their coverage” People’s minds are set on this stuff, not much, short of a major personal transgression, makes a difference.

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