With the primaries over and the general election field now set for this November’s elections in Louisiana, it appears only one of the major races will be heavily contested. David Vitter is a prohibitive favorite over Charlie Melancon to keep his U.S. Senate seat, Jay Dardenne enters the general election for Lieutenant Governor as a sizable favorite over Caroline Fayard and the 3rd District congressional race looks like a Jeff Landry victory over Ravi Sangisetty barring any major developments.
But the 2nd District congressional race now looks like a war. With Fayard spending heavily to energize the black vote in New Orleans, Democrat Cedric Richmond has become a favorite to knock off Republican incumbent Joseph Cao, despite Cao having a fundraising edge to date. And Richmond’s camp debuted an ad this weekend aimed at getting that vote out in even larger numbers:
In every other district in Louisiana but the 2nd, Cao would run that ad himself. But in the 2nd, it will be effective for Richmond. If Obama’s endorsement comes with some resources attached from the DCCC, which so far has not spent any money on the race, it could spell doom for the first-term Republican.
No recent poll numbers on LA-2 are available since a Verne Kennedy survey in June had Cao surprisingly ahead of Richmond 51-26, including a very surprising 39-30 lead in the black community. Few are continuing to push the results of the Kennedy poll of late, though.
It might be necessary for Cao to launch an all-out attack on Richmond to poison his candidacy with the voters. There is ammunition for such an attack, as Richmond’s 2007 involvement in a barroom fracas certainly calls into question his fitness for Congressional office and his having had his law license suspended over attempting to run for a New Orleans city council seat in a district he didn’t reside in certainly stands as a black mark. Richmond’s dabbling in the non-profit area certainly appears to paint him as a scam artist with public funds; those antics are remarkably similar to those involving Dollar Bill Jefferson, the previous holder of the LA-2 seat whom Cao defeated in 2008.
Cao has to made Richmond toxic. If he doesn’t, images of Obama flacking for him on Orleans Parish TV screens will be what he sees as his campaign slips beneath the waves.