Democrats across the country were were wiped out across the map last month, in large part because President Obama's policies were on the ballot -- and because they were successfully framed (including, helpfully, by the man himself) as incurable Obama enablers. Four incumbent Democrat Senators were ousted by GOP challengers: Mark Pryor in Arkansas, Mark Begich in Alaska, Mark Udall in Colorado and Kay Hagan in North Carolina, while Republicans picked up four additional Senate seats in open races (IA, MT, SD, WV). The 2014 cycle is nearly complete, with one major race still outstanding. This coming Saturday, Louisiana voters will determine whether or not to add Sen. Mary Landrieu to the list of fired Democrats. The contest is a runoff, triggered when no candidate secured 50-plus-one percent of the raw vote total in the 'jungle primary'-style battle on November 4th. Landrieu technically came in first place on Election Day, winning 42 percent of ballots cast. But Republicans Bill Cassidy and Rob Maness combined for 55 percent of the vote, and Maness has been working diligently with Cassidy to urge GOP unity in advance of December 6. Cortney visited the state recently and scored this interview with Rep. Bill Cassidy, who's now widely considered to be the prohibitive frontrunner. But does that label apply? Yes. Yes it does:
Those are the only public polls released since Election Day, and internal polling on both sides indicates that Landrieu is in serious trouble. Republican sources tell me their private polling shows Cassidy leading comfortably, while national Democrats' strategic decisions tell you everything you need to know. Polling this year was, in fact, skewed against Republicans, so the likelihood of a dramatic Landrieu comeback rests on some far-fetched scenarios. It would require a major pro-Democrat outlier electoral outcome in which the incumbent somehow overcomes the heavy political tide that swept away several of her similarly-situated colleagues last month. Landrieu would need to convince Louisianans that she's not an Obama rubber stamp. Which brings us to the video teased in our headline. Don Cravins, Jr. is the Senator's chief of staff (he, like his boss, is DC-based). Here he is begging a room full of partisan Democrats to vote for Landrieu last month, and his reasoning is music to Republicans' ears (via Black Conservatives Fund -- the key bit starts 34 seconds in):
"[President Obama] can't finish his agenda because he doesn't have people like Mary Landrieu with him...I'm asking you tomorrow to go out and vote for Senator Landrieu. She's been in office for 18 years, and in the Senate, that's what you need to get things done. And she will go on to support Barack Obama 97 percent of the time! [Cheers]"
The election eve rallying cry from Landrieu's own top aide was that voters must return her to the Senate in order to endorse and extend her lockstep support for Obama. He obviously hoped to tailor this message to a very specific subset of voters, but now his words are on the record. Republican ad-makers should go for the political kill and make sure that the broader Louisiana electorate hears how Landrieu's most senior staffer describes the raison d'être behind another Senate term for his boss. This clip is the latest in a string of headaches for Mary Landrieu. She endured an ugly controversy over her pathetic attempts to tie her own electoral struggles to the Louisiana electorate's sexism and racism, her party sandbagged her on a show vote that was specifically designed to burnish her moderate and "influence" credentials, and the tea leaves ahead of Saturday's decisive election are looking grim:
Final early black vote is 27.6%. Wow. That's lower than early vote pre and on Nov 4. #LAsen— Ali A. Akbar (@ali) November 30, 2014