What Dems are doing to Mary Landrieu is a travesty
Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu has served the Democratic party in a variety of capacities for 35 years. But loyalty apparently doesn't matter to national Democrats as they have completely abandoned her in her hour of greatest need.
Landrieu is in a life or death December 6 runoff with Republican candidate Bill Cassidy. He began the race ahead, but that's familiar territory for Landrieu. Twice before she has won runoffs to keep her Senate seat.
But that history means nothing. Democrats have refused to fund her campaign and she is being massively outspent by Cassidy.
Landrieu was pinning her hopes on leading the effort to pass the Keystone Pipeline in the Senate. But most analysts say that even that achievement won't save her from defeat.
It’s hard to find many political observers in the state who believe that Landrieu’s chances are very good,” said Jennifer Duffy of the Cook Political Report, adding that the senator has had troubled distancing herself from Mr. Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. “The state has become too Republican and, not unlike the midterm, a vote against Landrieu is a vote against Obama and Reid.”
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee canceled ad buys in Louisiana in the wake of the Nov. 4 election, and the Democratic National Committee has not been on the air.
Ms. Landrieu would be the fifth incumbent Democrat to be defeated, which would give the GOP a 54-46 advantage over the Democratic Caucus in the Senate.
In the first round of voting on Election Day, Mrs. Landrieu won 42 percent of the vote, which was good for first place but shy of the 50 percent plus one needed for victory. More than half of the electorate voted for her Republican rivals, with Mr. Cassidy winning 41 percent and retired Air Force Col. Rob Maness, a tea party favorite, winning 14 percent.
Since then, Republicans have begun to coalesce around Mr. Cassidy.
Gov. Bobby Jindal and Sen. David Vitter, who come from rival GOP camps in Louisiana, appeared at a rally for Mr. Cassidy after the midterm election.
Over the weekend, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Plain, who endorsed Mr. Maness earlier this year, and “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson, who has become a favorite among social conservatives, campaigned with Mr. Cassidy.
Robert Mann, political science professor at Louisiana State University, said Mrs. Landrieu performed well among African American voters, but said exit polls showed her support among white voters plummeted to 18 percent this year from 33 percent in 2008.
“She is in a very deep hole with white voters in this state,” Mr. Mann said. “That is a very, very big problem for her.”
Even with the help of the national party, Landrieu was likely to lose. But Landrieu is one of the few Democrats in the state to have won statewide in the last decade and you would think at the very least, national Democrats would want to give her a fighting chance. A Landrieu victory would make their job of reclaiming the Senate in 2016 - when the numbers are working against Republicans - much easier.
It should be a lesson to Democrats across the country; loyalty to party will only take you so far.