Unlike the primary election, the run-off will take place on a Saturday and history shows that Democrats perform better in Saturday elections. Landrieu will also have several Saturdays in early voting to mobilize her base of supporters. Polls show that Landrieu only received 18% of the white vote in the primary election, but an impressive 94% of the African American vote.
In the run-off, Bill Cassidy will have to deal with the distractions of the holiday season, the SEC championship, and hunting season to name a few. At the same time, Landrieu will have to mobilize her base of African Americans to vote in the absence of heated elections in many areas of the state. For example, in New Orleans, there are no competitive run-off elections to mobilize voters. While there are runoff elections in the 5th and 6th congressional districts, the Republican candidates are the favorites.
Yesterday, Congressman Cassidy received a very coveted endorsement. At the unity rally in Baton Rouge, Tea Party favorite Colonel Maness declared his enthusiastic support for Congressman Cassidy. The unity rally was an impressive gathering of GOP activists coming together to support Cassidy. It even managed to draw Senator David Vitter and Governor Bobby Jindal to the same event.
Clearly, the Republicans are unified in their desire to defeat Landrieu in this race, but they have failed in three previous attempts to defeat her. Landrieu has been in politics for 35 years, this is all she knows. She will not go gently into the night. The run-off will be nasty as Landrieu will hit Cassidy hard with every type of attack. It has already started with a mean spirited television commercial making fun of Cassidy's speech to the Republican Leadership Conference in May.
Unfortunately for Landrieu, her blistering attack ads will not be funded by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which has dropped plans to spend $1.8 million in statewide political advertising on her behalf. Cassidy will have the financial advantage and will continue to be able to link Landrieu with the unpopular Barack Obama. However, he will no longer be able to make the claim that a vote for Landrieu will be a vote for Harry Reid as Majority Leader. Thankfully, Reid will lose his position of Majority Leader now that the Democrats have lost control of the Senate.
Cassidy has the advantage, but he needs to campaign like he is 20 points behind Landrieu. The worst thing for his campaign is complacency and overconfidence. Mary Landrieu has run in four statewide races and has a massive campaign network at her disposal. She has won close elections before and has won races that the analysts predicted she would lose, so she should never be taken lightly, especially when Republicans have their best chance ever to defeat her.