The results of this poll are fairly similar to others we’ve seen. Landrieu leads in a three-way race, but her ceiling looks like it’s below 50. And if Rob Maness wasn’t in the race, she’d likely lose it in November.
And then in a head-to-head between Cassidy and Landrieu…
What does that mean?
It means that Maness might be creeping into the double digits after all, though he’s out of money and still getting beat by a 2-to-1 count by Cassidy and that paints a picture of a fairly hopeless race.
It also means Cassidy still has some work to do.
The sample of the poll is interesting, though. Some 68 percent say they’re white and 26 percent say they’re black, which is a little more unfriendly than many folks think the electorate will be to Landrieu in November. But the Democrat/Republican/Independent breakdown, 44/36/20, might not be. Of course, the question was asked in a way you don’t really want to ask it in Louisiana for the purpose of clarity: “What is your political party affiliation?” In this state the party registration, as of Sept. 1, breaks down as 47 D, 28 R, 25 I. But affiliation and registration are not the same thing; it’s probably better to ask which party folks feel best represents their political views. Lots of registered Democrats in Louisiana are Republican voters; because of the jungle primary system they never felt the need to change their registration.
It’s also a poll of 426 registered voters, 73 percent of whom said they’re very likely to vote. There doesn’t appear to be much of a screen for likely voters.
Cassidy is going to need to get more aggressive against Landrieu, and he’s got a great opportunity to use both Chartergate and the renewed Obamacare outrage which is just a few weeks away as fodder for a devastating attack on her. But outside of that, lots of his people, and maybe some of the Republican partisan folks inside the state and elsewhere, are going to start demanding Maness go away since he’s siphoning off support Cassidy ought to have in their minds.
But if Landrieu can’t get above 50, and she doesn’t look too close in this poll, it doesn’t matter all that much. Cassidy can’t finish her off in November with Maness in the race, as this poll and others show, but he’s going to be favored to do so in December.