Democrat Senator Mary Landrieu Gets Stomped Like A Bug In Louisiana Runoff Election

Landrieu Loses Reelection Bid In Louisiana To Republican Challenger Cassidy – Fox News

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Louisiana Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu lost her reelection bid Saturday in a runoff race with Republican challenger Rep. Bill Cassidy, despite a relentless, against-long-odds effort.

Landrieu, who was seeking a fourth term, trailed by double digits and had lost most of her support going into the election. With 100 percent of the precincts reporting late Saturday, Cassidy had received 56 percent of the vote, to 44 percent for Landrieu.

Landrieu barnstormed the state this week, driving some 1,200 miles in a rented SUV, stopping in little towns and bigger cities, making one last appeal to voters to give her another term in Washington.

“There is no quit,” Landrieu said in her concession speech. “It’s been nothing but a joy to serve this state for over 34 years.”

Cassidy’s win extends the GOP’s domination of the 2014 midterm elections that put Republicans in charge of Capitol Hill for the final two years of President Obama’s tenure.

Republicans will hold 54 seats when the Senate convenes in January, nine more than they have now.

“Once again, voters have spoken clearly,” Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said. “They have rejected the Democrat agenda and the Obama-Clinton policies that have produced higher healthcare costs and job-killing regulations.”

The race mirrored contests in other states that Obama lost in 2012, with Landrieu joining Alaska Sen. Mark Begich, North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan and Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor in defeat. Democrats ceded seats in Montana, South Dakota and West Virginia after incumbents opted not to run again.

Like victorious Republicans in those races, Cassidy, 57, made his bid more about Obama than about his own vision for the job. An Illinois native and medical doctor, Cassidy made few public appearances during the runoff, seeking to avoid missteps that could change the race.

But in a state where 73 percent of white voters on Nov. 4 told pollsters they “strongly disapproved” of the president, that was enough to prevent Landrieu, 59, from finding her footing. Cassidy also enjoyed a prodigious advertising advantage in the runoff: Of every dollar spent by outside groups during the one-month runoff, 97 cents benefited the congressman.

Landrieu had narrowly led a Nov. 4 primary ballot that included eight candidates from all parties. But at 42 percent, she fell well below her marks in previous races and endured a one-month runoff campaign that Republicans dominated via the airwaves while national Democrats financially abandoned her effort.

In the South, Democrats will be left without a single governor or U.S. senator across nine states stretching from the Carolinas to Texas. The House delegations from the same region are divided almost entirely by race, with white Republicans representing majority-white districts, while majority non-white districts are represented by black or Hispanic Democrats.

Landrieu tried several messages over the course of her losing effort.

Most recently, she had hammered Cassidy as being unfit for the job and interested more in partisanship than helping Louisiana. She directed her most pointed criticism at Cassidy’s medical teaching job with the Louisiana State University hospital system. Calling Cassidy “Dr. Double Dip,” Landrieu suggested the congressman collected a $20,000, taxpayer-funded salary for little or no work, describing gaps and discrepancies in Cassidy’s LSU time sheets. LSU said it’s looking into the time sheet questions.

She argued that the race shouldn’t be about Obama, but also targeted advertising on radio stations geared to the black community, where the president remains popular.

Her anchor argument was that her senatorial seniority was a boon for Louisiana, particularly her chairmanship of the Senate’s energy committee, an important panel for this oil-rich state. But that argument was gutted on Nov. 4 when Republicans won the Senate majority, meaning Landrieu would have lost her post even had she won.

Landrieu, who said a campaign canvasser was fatally struck by a vehicle Saturday, managed last month to get the Democrat-controlled Senate to vote on her bill to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, which would have helped with voters in oil-rich Louisiana. But the measure failed when she could not get one more Democrat to vote in favor of the plan.

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Landrieu’s Ugly Exit (John Fund)

Landrieu’s Ugly Exit – John Fund

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Senator Mary Landrieu comes from a political dynasty in Louisiana – her father was mayor of New Orleans, and her brother is the current mayor. But as she heads into Saturday’s runoff election as a clear underdog, she is tarnishing her political inheritance by fighting ugly. She is resorting to lies and distortion to accuse her GOP opponent of backing the impeachment of President Obama and endorsing a documentary that, as she describes it, says slavery was better for blacks than welfare.

“Landrieu has flailed, veering from one issue to another,” concluded a Washington Post article this Thursday. When it hasn’t been haphazard, her campaign has been, at best, factually challenged.

Take the following radio ad airing on African-American stations, approved by Landrieu and paid for by the Democratic State Committee of Louisiana:

I’m Mary Landrieu, candidate for Senate, and I approve this message.

Man: News flash – Bobby Jindal endorses Bill Cassidy 100 percent. That troubles me. Jindal, our absentee governor, and Doc Cassidy, a medical doctor, oppose affordable health care for working families. These millionaire Republicans are against equal pay for women and have opposed the Violence against Women Act. And can you believe, Doc Cassidy has endorsed a documentary that claims slavery was better for black folks than welfare.

Woman: Oh, no, he didn’t!

Man: Yeah, well he sure did, my friends. But worse than that, Cassidy and Jindal are trying to impeach our president. Back in the day, there was a TV cowboy named Hopalong Cassidy. I don’t know if they’re related, but why don’t you just hop along, Doctor Cassidy, to wherever your No, 1 supporter, Bobby Jindal, is headed this week, and let Senator Landrieu continue doing a great job for the people of Louisiana?

Cassidy/Jindal – bad for Louisiana, disastrous for black families.

Paid for by the Democratic State Central Committee of Louisiana.

A Landrieu campaign aide told BuzzFeed.com that the slavery analogy was based on Cassidy’s appearance in the 2010 film A New America. Cassidy didn’t address slavery, but African-American syndicated columnist Star Parker did. A former single mother who spent years on welfare, Parker appears in the film and attacks the “government poverty plantation.” “With slavery, people generally want out,” she said. “But with welfare, folks are comfortable.”

Tough words, but hardly an endorsement of slavery. Parker is appalled at how Landrieu “dug into the gutter” to try to save her Senate seat. “I did not say slavery was better. I did say that the same political party that enslaved blacks 150 years ago is now full of overseers who ensure that no discussion of freedom from welfare is conducted in African-American communities.”

As for impeachment, another radio ad approved by Landrieu claims that Governor Jindal and Cassidy have “disrespected” President Obama. “If Cassidy wins, they will impeach him.” Neither man has embraced impeachment, but facts are immaterial to Landrieu. Her evidence for Cassidy’s “disrespect” of Obama is that “he refers to him by his last name, constantly.” Instead, he should always refer to him as President Obama.

The desperation of Landrieu’s campaign doesn’t stop there. Donald Cravins Sr., the mayor of Opelousas and the father of Landrieu’s chief-of-staff, was caught on videotape last month addressing a crowd just before the first round of voting in the Senate race: “If you early-voted, go vote again tomorrow. One more time’s not going to hurt.” Just in case anyone doubted that Cravins was serious, he told the crowd they had an insurance policy: The local prosecutor would look the other way: “Tomorrow we’re going to elect Earl Taylor as the D.A., so he won’t prosecute you if you vote twice,” he assured the crowd. When criticized for these remarks, Cravins says he was “joking.”

It’s ironic that the issue of voter fraud should enter Louisiana’s Senate race in 2014, given that in Landrieu’s first election in 1996 it also played a role. She won that year by 5,788 votes over Republican Woody Jenkins. Journalist Quin Hillyer noted that she was helped by “boatloads of gambling money turning out liberal voters to support a referendum for a land-based casino.”

Morris Reed remembers the 1996 casino cash well. A former judge, the African-American Reed was one of two Democrats on the same ballot running for district attorney in New Orleans. Reed, who crusaded against corruption, lost to the longtime incumbent, a white man who was nonetheless backed by the local black political machines. Reed claimed that gambling interests financed the use of dozens of vans to pick up New Orleans voters, pay them, and then haul them from one voting precinct to another to vote. Then New Orleans mysteriously became the only one of 64 parishes to violate state law in that election by opening all of its voting machines without any candidate present as a witness. Reed told me in 1996 that there was no doubt Landrieu’s victory was questionable given the dozens of irregularities, some of which led a New Orleans assistant city attorney to resign in protest.

Senator Landrieu began her Senate career under a cloud in 1997 – she was seated only provisionally owing to the controversies swirling around the New Orleans vote. Now, nearly two decades later, it appears she will be leaving office under a different cloud – an ugly, dark campaign that invents facts, stirs up racial animus, and distorts reality. If she loses, it will be a shame that she couldn’t have exited stage left with more grace and less vitriol.

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Republican Dan Sullivan Finally Declared Winner Of Alaska Senate Race

Alaska Senate Race Called For Dan Sullivan – Roll Call

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The Associated Press called the Alaska Senate race early Wednesday for Dan Sullivan, the Republican challenger to Democratic Sen. Mark Begich.

The decision came in the early morning hours on the East Coast, after election workers counted about 20,000 absentee ballots. An unknown number of ballots remain, but Sullivan’s lead of some 8,100 votes was little changed after that significant chunk of votes was counted, the AP stated.

“I am deeply humbled and honored to serve my fellow Alaskans in the United States Senate,” Sullivan said in a statement. “Our campaign was about opportunity — because I truly believe that there is nothing that is wrong with America that can’t be fixed by what’s right with Alaska.”

The AP reported that Begich is not conceding, as thousands of ballots are uncounted.

The victory means Republicans have picked up eight Senate seats. A win in Louisiana, which will hold a runoff on Dec. 6, would give Republicans 54 seats in the new Congress.

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