According to a new internal poll, Representative Bill Cassidy has a big lead over Democratic incumbent Mary Landrieu in Lousiana’s Senate runoff, which takes place a little over three weeks from now. He’s leading her 56 percent to 40 percent in a survey by Magellan Strategies. The poll’s sample is 27 percent African-American, which may be a little lower than the electorate that shows up on the day of the runoff, December 6.
Landrieu got 42 percent of the vote on Election Day, a jungle primary with a 50 percent threshold for victory, while Cassidy got 41 percent and another Republican got 14 percent. Magellan’s poll is the first publicly released during the runoff, but polls before the primary showed Cassidy with a respectable lead in a two-candidate race.
Democratic resources haven’t exactly poured into Louisiana to support Landrieu, not least because the party has already lost the Senate — a month or two ago, it seemed possible that the runoff in December could decide control of the body. One last-minute issue: Cassidy has introduced a bill in the House to approve construction of the Keystone pipeline, of some interest to Louisiana’s oil-and-gas industry, that outgoing Senate majority leader Harry Reid has promised to let Landrieu bring to the floor. It’s not clear whether it’ll pass the Senate and President Obama has said he’ll still veto it (he wants a State Department approval process to continue), but it’s one last chance for Landrieu to try to show herself as someone standing up for the interests of Louisianans.
If Cassidy triumphs in December, Republicans will hold 54 Senate seats in the 114th Congress.