Though Louisiana is generally considered a Republican state for purposes of presidential elections, its politics are famously idiosyncratic, with power alternating between candidates who identify as reformers or populists, tendencies which can be found in both parties in Louisiana. Rep. Bill Cassidy, the Republican candidate, first served in the Louisiana state Legislature before being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2008. Incumbent Sen. Mary Landrieu, the Democratic candidate, held two state government offices before joining the U.S. Senate in 1996. Sen. Landrieu is the chair of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. She is also a member of a political dynasty with deep roots in Louisiana, and a strong connection to the state’s African-American population.
Rep. Bill Cassidy (R) v. Mary Landrieu (D)
Abortion has become a key issue in the race with Gov. Bobby Jindal singed new abortion legislation into law in June. Cassidy will likely use Landrieu’s pro-choice position against her since Louisianans tend to lean right on abortion issues. Landrieu is running on her experience in the Senate and fight against he President to protect energy industry jobs, a large source of employment in the state. Landrieu’s conservative critics have recently attacked Landrieu’s many efforts on behalf of the District of Columbia, the argument being that Landrieu has become a creature of Washington.
Though Landrieu began with a significant lead, the two candidates switched positions at the start of 2014 and the race has been very close since. Now, it is a near perfect tie with both Landrieu and Cassidy holding about 47 percent of the vote: