Louisiana has some crazy election rules and so rather than a decisive Cassidy victory Tuesday night, the battle for the bayou Senate seat will drag on for another month. December 6 to be precise.
Things have probably looked better for Landrieu. Two days ago, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) decided to cut some of their ad buys for Landrieu. Politico reported:
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is canceling at least some of its advertising reservations for Sen. Mary Landrieu ahead of the December runoff in Louisiana.
The committee canceled buys planned from Monday through December 6 in the Lafayette, Baton Rouge and New Orleans markets, three sources tracking the air war told POLITICO.
“Mary Landrieu is a proven run-off 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.”
The DSCC made a similar move in the race between Alison Lundergan Grimes who was looking to unseat Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell. They pulled ad buys in mid-October. McConnell went on to win by more than 15 points.
Yesterday, someone in Landrieu’s camp thought it was a good idea to hold a press conference, print out signs, and demand to know where Republican challenger, Bill Cassidy was during the rebuilding of the VA hospital following hurricanes Katrina and Rita. And thus the “Where Was Bill” campaign was launched.
… only to crash moments later:
To make matters worse for Landrieu, the NRSC and RNC are sending a grassroots army to Louisiana to ensure Cassidy’s victory. Amy Miller reported:
From this morning’s RNC e-mail blast:
We had great, historic Republican victories on Election Day.
But here’s the deal: there is still ONE key Senate seat left to win — Louisiana.
Only 1% – just 16,400 votes – separated the Democrat incumbent from the Republican frontrunner in the Louisiana Senate race on Tuesday. And now they’re in a neck-and-neck runoff race.
This weekend, the RNC is sending hundreds of our staffers into Louisiana. We must secure ONE more seat to strengthen our newly won Senate majority, so we can stop President Obama’s radical agenda and enact pro-jobs, pro-growth policies.
President Obama and Senate Democrats are not happy about Tuesday’s results. They are pouring in resources to hold onto this final seat and keep liberal Senator Mary Landrieu in office.
The RNC is ready for the challenge — but we need you to stand with us one more time.
Canceling ad buys doesn’t automatically signal the Democrats have abandoned Louisiana though, nor does it necessarily undercut Landrieu’s ability to fundraise and purchase ads from the campaign coffers. But it certainly doesn’t make her job of securing re-election any easier. With the balance of the Senate no longer in question, the DSCC may have decided to cut their losses and live to play another day.
Republican momentum is yet another obstacle Landrieu will have to overcome. Pitching Cassidy as someone who also voted with Obama 97% of time (he did not) is not a winning strategy, but it’s the one her campaign seems to have adopted. Landrieu’s campaign is desperately trying to paint her as the Senator who was there for Louisiana when Cassidy was not, a line that might appeal to some, but not those facing higher insurance premiums and other realities of the Obama economy.
Smartly, Landrieu’s camp has shifted away from the War on Women, a mantra that cost many a Democrat their job this election cycle. And so Louisiana becomes a petri dish of “safe” Democratic talking points. Will scaremongering Social Security reform, paycheck fairness, and student loan reform pay off for Landrieu?
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