Democrats Already Abandoning Mary Landrieu?

The party's loss of Senate control has basically sealed Landrieu's fate.


As we headed into Election Day, there were plenty of reasons to believe that the expected Runoff Election between Senator Mary Landrieu and Congressman Tom Cassidy would be crucial to the battle for Senate control. Right up to the last minute, after all, there seemed to be enough close seats around the nation to suggest that we would wake up on November 5th with the GOP not having won enough seats to actually grab control of the upper chamber of Congress. Had that happened, then the expected December 6th election in Louisiana could have ended up being the most important election of the entire 2014 cycle. As it turns out, though, it is going to be something of an afterthought. At the moment, with Alaska still officially undecided, the GOP has a 53 seat majority in the new Senate. With Alaska looking like a win for Republican Dan Sullivan at the end of the day, that will make the majority 54 seats, with 46 seats in the Democratic caucus. That means that, in the end, Louisiana will basically just be a question of whether the Republican majority stays at 54-46 or grows to 55-45. Given polling before Tuesday that showed Congressman Cassidy well ahead of Senator Landrieu in head-to-head matchups, it would appear that the most likely outcome would be for the GOP to add to its majority next month, and it seems Democratic Party officials may already be throwing in the towel:

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has canceled its advertising reservations for Sen. Mary Landrieu ahead of the December runoff in Louisiana.

The committee canceled all broadcast buys planned from Monday through Dec. 6 in the state’s five major media markets, three sources tracking the air war told POLITICO. That’s about $1.6 million worth of time. The DSCC is in the process of canceling an additional $275,000 in cable placements, according to buyer sources.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee, by contrast, has reserved $2.3 million of broadcast ad time over the next month.

With control of the Senate no longer on the line, the race becomes less important for both party committees — each of which took out loans in the final weeks before Tuesday’s election.

“Mary Landrieu is a proven runoff winner, and we support her 100 percent,” said DSCC spokesman Justin Barasky. “We are going to make ongoing determinations on how best to invest in the race. We made the initial reservation when there were concerns that the rates would skyrocket, but they have stabilized, giving us more flexibility to make week-to-week decisions.”

Landrieu underperformed public polls on Tuesday and finished with 42 percent, just 16,000 more votes and 1 percentage point more than her Republican opponent Bill Cassidy. Her showing came even with tea party candidate Rob Maness receiving 14 percent.

Republicans still have $7.2 million in broadcast reservations for the next four weeks in the Bayou State. Cassidy has reserved $1.3 million; Ending Spending and its Super PAC, $1.6 million; the National Rifle Association, $1.1 million; and Freedom Partners, $822,000.

The only Democratic outside group with broadcast reservations for the runoff right now is the Humane Society Legislative Fund, which reserved just $101,000 for the final two weeks of the runoff.

One of Landrieu’s biggest selling points to Louisiana voters has been her seniority and, most especially, the fact that she is on both the Appropriations Committee and the Chairperson of the powerful Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, a committee of particular interest to the state’s oil and natural gas industry and the thousands of people in the state who are employed by it. With the GOP coming into control of the Senate, though, those selling points aren’t going to mean nearly as much as they have while Democrats were in charge. Indeed, many observers suggested that Harry Reid made Landrieu the Chair of the Energy Committee to help her in the re-election bid. Going forward, though, she will at the very least not be the Chairperson of that committee any longer; that job will likely go to current Ranking Member Lisa Murkowski of Alaska—and she may not even end up on the committee after the reshuffling that will have to happen with Senate reorganization in January. At this point, Cassidy has a better argument to voters by saying he would have greater influence as a freshman member of the majority party than Landrieu would as someone with seniority in the minority caucus. Anything can happen in this race, of course, but at this point I suspect that the Democrat’s loss of Senate control has basically sealed Landrieu’s fate.

FILED UNDER: 2014 Election, Congress, US Politics, , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held 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 contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. stonetools says:

    And down will go the last of the Southern Democrats…
    Gotta give it to Nixon, the Southern Strategy, as implemented by him and his Republican successors, was a masterpiece of successful realpolitik.By cyniically appealing to southern white racism, they turned the South from solid Democrat to solid Republican. Too bad the Democrats couldn’t figure out a counter strategy.

  2. superdestroyer says:


    Too bad the Democrats had to insist on race norming and forced busing while sending their own children to private schools and private universities. The Democrats refuses to show any level of personal leadership in the civil rights arena and have suffered politically ever since. When the black president of the U.S. send his own daughters to a school that is 70% whites (in a city where the public schools are 10% white), it should be clear that the Democrats could not care less about appeal to blue collar or middle class whites.

  3. cfpete says:

    Doug, you’re drunk, go home.
    Who is Tom Cassidy? (Bill)
    The GOP has 52 seats, LA and AK put them at 54.

  4. wr says:

    And once she’s gone along with most of the coal state Dems, maybe the rest of the party can actually start mentioning that pollution is a bad thing again.

  5. superdestroyer says:


    Every time I hear some talking head of MSNBC discussing pollution, my first thought is how many miles have they flown this year, how many square feet to they own, how many trips do they make every year? When the elite who have massive environmental foot prints keep promoting laws and regulations that will never affect themselves but lower the quality of life of many many class people, then the argument is already lost. Do they really believe that Manhattan can exist in a zero carbon world?

  6. Gavrilo says:


    a masterpiece of successful realpolitik

    I don’t think that means what you think it means.

  7. al-Ameda says:


    When the black president of the U.S. send his own daughters to a school that is 70% whites (in a city where the public schools are 10% white), it should be clear that the Democrats could not care less about appeal to blue collar or middle class whites.

    Wow, even by modern conservative resentment standards that is a lot of empty calories.

  8. anjin-san says:


    pollution is a bad thing

    Pollution is not a bad thing. That’s a desperately sick lie, and you know it!

  9. superdestroyer says:


    Democrats constantly call Republican raicist but send their children to very white private schools, very white universities (above the national average percentage of whties), live in very white neighborhoods, and vacation in very white areas. The Democrats have gone to court to discriminate against whites and to force whites to attend poor schools but will never ask themselves or their friends to do the same thing. The same lack of individual leadership applies to energy consumption, NIMBYism, and their own workplaces.

    It is well past time for the Democrats to lead through example or to shut up.

  10. wr says:

    @superdestroyer: That is simply the dumbest thing you can say. Hey, I fly on airplanes, I don’t have a right to breathable air and drinkable water!

    The only good news is that crapholes like the one you live in are the places that are going to be buried under tons of unregulated sludge. You should feel right at home.

    And yes, I went ad hominem instead of condescending to your usual raft of drivel. I hope it only hurts your feelings enough that you finally go away for good.

  11. superdestroyer says:


    Once again, A progressive cannot make an argument unless it is an insult. Just another sign that progressive politics is just a form of fashion statement by people who are desperate to be the cool kids.

    If you really care about clean air then the number of people flying in jets matters. The number of square feet that needs to be heated, cooled, cleaned, and maintained matters. However, I continual see rich elites on progressives programs such as the talking head shows on MSNBC telling middle class Americans that they need to live in small apartments in mixed use communities and need to walk everywhere. If living in a small residence and walking are important then the leadership of the Democratic Party need to demonstrate some level of personal leadership and shrink their environmental footprint before they ask anyone else to do the same. Otherwise, they are just proposing to make everyone else a peon while they live the lifestyle of the patron class.

  12. wr says:

    @superdestroyer: Tell me, is there anyone in the world of whom you are neither scared nor resentful?

  13. superdestroyer says:


    Since when is expecting basic leadership from elected politicians resentful or fearful. A basic way to evaluate whether people really believe what they are saying is to see if they live their own lives in the manner that they expect of others. One of the major problems with progressives is that they demand one way of living from other while living their own personal lives in an opposite manner. When such a situation occurs, there has to be hidden agenda involved. There is nothing wrong in trying to determine the hidden agenda.

  14. wr says:

    @superdestroyer: ” There is nothing wrong in trying to determine the hidden agenda.”

    As long as you keep the tinfoil firmly in place.

  15. Soybean Doc says:

    I expected find this kind of “Waaa, Waaa, Waaa” stuff sooner at the other sites I frequent. I had to come here and find wr to get my fix of Waaa, Waaa, Waaa. Thanks, wr, I needed the emotional lift.