While she came out on top, albeit by a very slim margin, Mary Landrieu has an extremely rough row to hoe if she hopes to get re-elected to a 4th term on December 6th.
Generally, when a candidate enters an election, the candidate has a clear path to victory. For Senator Landrieu, who as a 3rd term Senator and former State Treasurer with 100% name recognition and virtually unlimited fundraising abilities, garnering 42% to Cassidy’s 41% had to be a huge body blow.
And, the December 6th runoff doesn’t look any easier.
While Landrieu destroyed Cassidy in Louisiana’s urban areas, she lost most of the state. Consider these totals:
…..Orleans Parish (Landrieu’s “home” parish): Landrieu - 82.75%; Cassidy – 13.1%
…..East Baton Rouge Parish (Cassidy’s home parish): Landrieu – 51.5%; Cassidy – 38.6%
…..Caddo Parish: Landrieu – 51.6%; Cassidy – 34.2%
In addition to Metro areas, Landrieu did post some isolated victories capturing 24 of Louisiana’s 64 parishes including:
…..St. John the Baptist Parish: Landrieu – 64%; Cassidy – 24%
…..East Carroll Parish: Landrieu – 63%; Cassidy – 26%
…..St. Helena Parish: Landrieu – 59% Cassidy – 27.7%
…..St. James Parish: Landrieu – 58.7%; Cassidy – 27.9%
…..Morehouse Parish: Landrieu – 58.3%; Cassidy – 29.4%
Unfortunately for Senator Landrieu, these rural parishes only amount to a scant percentage of Louisiana’s population.
Conversely, suburban, smaller metro and rural areas of the state were dominated by Cassidy.
…..Livingston Parish: Cassidy – 59.6%; Landrieu – 16.4%
.....Lasalle Parish: Cassidy - 59%; Landrieu - 14.7%
…..Sabine Parish: Cassidy – 57.5%; Landrieu – 22.3%
…..Vernon Parish: Cassidy – 57.5%; Landrieu – 20.8%
.....Lafayette Parish: Cassidy – 56.8%; Landrieu – 32%
…..Bossier Parish: Cassidy – 52.2%; Landrieu – 26.2%
…..St. Tammany Parish: Cassidy – 51.6%; Landrieu – 26.8%
What’s even more troubling for the Landrieu camp is, while they did win 24 parishes, she only captured a majority of voters in 10 of 64 Louisiana Parishes (Caddo, East Baton Rouge, East Carroll, Iberville, Morehouse, Orleans, St. Helena, St. James, St. John the Baptist and Tensas).
While Landrieu defeated Cassidy by about 80,000 votes in Orleans Parish, her voter margin of victory over Cassidy was only 16,000 votes statewide, or about 1% of the state’s total vote.
Having 58% of the state’s voters reject a 3rd term Senator who touted her clout and experience is stunning.
Last night, Landrieu began to attempt to rebuild bridges with those non-Landrieu voters by reaching out to supporters of Tea Party challenger Rob Maness and thanking Maness for his run.
She also jabbed at Cassidy’s non-appearance at 2 of the 4 statewide debates and challenged Cassidy to attend 6 debates – “one for every year of the job he is running for”, over the next 32 days.
"For months, Congressman Cassidy has hidden from the voters of Louisiana,” Landrieu said. "Cassidy can no longer just spout President Obama's name at debate and think that's enough."
To have any hope of victory, Landrieu needs a huge turnout from Louisiana’s population centers especially Orleans Parish, almost all of Rob Maness’s supporters (which is extremely unlikely), and a huge gaffe by Cassidy.
For his part, Cassidy needs to garner some of the Maness supporters, reestablish a Conservative base, get out the vote on a very busy December 6th in the middle of Christmas shopping, hunting season and an SEC Championship game, and not screw this up.
"And now, we have the race that we have wanted, for months," Landrieu said.
But, is it a race she can win? We’ll know in 32 days.