Louisiana: Off and Running, Again

If you thought the 2014 mid-term elections were over … think again, although many believe a December run-off between Democrat Mary Landrieu and Republican Bill Cassidy is over before it even begins.

Unofficially, Republican Rob Maness got 13.8% of the vote, with Landrieu capturing roughly 42% to Cassidy’s 41%. The conventional wisdom has been the bulk of the Maness vote will go to Cassidy, making Landrieu’s quest all but insurmountable.

But with energy being a key issue in Louisiana politics, there’s sure ot be plenty of outside money channeled into the race from both sides. Landrieu chairs the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and had made that a cornerstone of her earlier campaign. With the Senate flipping to GOP control, it’s no longer the plus it had been made out to be for her.

She challenged Mr. Cassidy to six one-hour debates in the coming weeks. His campaign hasn’t yet responded.

“It’s pretty clear, she’s got an uphill battle,” said Robert Hogan, a political scientist at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. Voter turnout in Louisiana Senate runoffs is historically similar to the general election, he said.

“The question is, did she max out her level of support in this first round?” Mr. Hogan said. “It’s not like there are more people who are going to turn out for her.”