Landrieu 4.9, Cassidy 3.2

The fundraising numbers for the second quarter aren’t terrible for Bill Cassidy in his upcoming race against Mary Landrieu for the latter’s Senate seat next year, but they’re not terrific, either.

Landrieu is now sitting on a $4.9 million war chest, while Cassidy has $3.2 million in the bank.

A $1.7 million gap isn’t a killer at this point for Cassidy, and when you consider that Landrieu’s previous opponent John Kennedy raised and spent a grand total of $4.8 million for the entire 2008 cycle he’s doing pretty well at $3.2 million to date.

But there’s a problem as well, namely that Landrieu outraised Cassidy in the 2nd quarter, $1.7 million to $1.1 million. He’s got to be at parity with the Senate, if not start beating her, from here on in.

But Cassidy’s good news is that with Gov. Bobby Jindal’s unmistakable denial yesterday that he’s going to be in the race for the Senate, it’s now Cassidy’s game and largely his alone. Cassidy has a Republican opponent in former Air Force Col. Rob Maness – who by the way is a very impressive guy and an honest conservative – but outside of generating a little bit of buzz with Tea Party groups outside the state doesn’t have a big base of support so far.

Maness’ presence in the race should do some good, in that he can shift the political center a bit to the right by forcing Cassidy to compete for conservative votes rather than take them for granted while playing for the middle – do we really need to go though the litany of dead Republican candidacies split open on those rocks? – but from the standpoint of fundraising Cassidy is in a better position now that the Jindal-for-Senate rumors, which have been spread largely to benefit third parties if not Landrieu, have been put to bed.

So that means Cassidy’s efforts at fundraising and his presence around the state as a candidate for Landrieu’s job will need to greatly increase in the third quarter – as one would expect.

He’s not in a bad position, and no one would expect him to be at parity with an incumbent this early in the process. But Cassidy is behind, and he’ll need to catch up.

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