BY: David M. Drucker December 4, 2014
Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy is poised for a landslide victory over Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu in a Saturday runoff election in Louisiana, according to a GOP poll shared with the Washington Examiner.
Cassidy led Landrieu 57 percent to 33 percent in the survey conducted Nov. 24-25 by WPA Opinion Research for Independent Women’s Voice. His victory would bring the number of Republican Senate seats captured in this year’s midterm elections to nine, topping off the new GOP majority at 54 seats. The poll of 500 likely voters had an error margin of 4.4 percentage points.
“Cassidy has the lead among all gender age groups and enjoys a [sizable] lead among independent voters,” WPA Opinion Research said in a memo.
“Moreover, based on current projections, even if African-Americans support Landrieu at 95% and turnout in record numbers, she will still lose on Election Day.”
Landrieu has managed to defy expectations and win Republican-trending Louisiana in the past. The third-term senator’s family is steeped in Cajun politics; her brother Mitch Landrieu is the mayor of New Orleans. But the state has made what appears to be a hard right turn since President Obama took office in 2009, and Landrieu’s support for his agenda has damaged her political standing.
Demographic changes spurred by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 also hurt Landrieu, who last won re-election the same year that Obama won his first term as president. Storm damage in Katrina's aftermath caused thousands of urban Democrats, and presumably committed Landrieu voters, to exit the state, and most never returned. Landrieu’s failure to connect with Louisiana voters of all demographic stripes tells the tale:
• Among men ages 18-54, Cassidy led Landrieu 56 percent to 31 percent.
• Among men ages 55 and up, Cassidy led Landrieu 61 percent to 28 percent.
• Among women ages 18-54, Cassidy led Landrieu 61 percent to 32 percent.
• Among women ages 55 and up, Cassidy led Landrieu 50 percent to 40 percent.
• Among independent voters, Cassidy led Landrieu 67 percent to 23 percent.
According to information compiled by WPA Opinion Research, early voting as of Monday showed that turnout among African-Americans was at 28 percent, down from 32 percent in the Nov. 4 all-party primary. Early voting turnout among Democrats is down overall; it was 53 percent on Nov. 4, but stood at 48 percent as of Monday. Meanwhile, Republican early-voting turnout was 39 percent, up from 34 percent in the top-two, jungle primary.
In that contest, Landrieu narrowly edged Cassidy, 42.1 percent to 40.1 percent. Republican Rob Maness finished in third place with 13.8 percent. According to Louisiana law, if no candidate garners more than 50 percent in the all-party primary, the top two finishers advance to a runoff.
Among WPA’s recent clients is Republican Sen.-elect David Perdue, who won a hard-fought race in Georgia on Nov. 4.