What you might hear, among those analyzing the Senate race whose primary election day is only 12 days away, is that Mary Landrieu’s campaign is going to put all its eggs into the basket of get-out-the-vote efforts in the black community. There are the union-funded yard signs popping up in black neighborhoods in New Orleans and everywhere asking blacks to vote, there is Cedric Richmond’s characterization of Bill Cassidy as a racist and there is Landrieu’s vicious attack on Elbert Guillory for his efforts to break up the monopoly Democrats have on the black electorate in Louisiana.
You’re seeing this because Landrieu needs 95 percent of the black vote, and she also needs it to be some 30 percent of the electorate which turns out on Nov. 4. She can’t get to 50 percent otherwise.
But while she needs that overwhelming support in the black community, that’s not enough. She also needs to pull 31 percent of the rest of the electorate – almost all of which is white voters – to win on Nov. 4.
Which is why a new poll by Democracy Corps, the outfit headed by Stan Greenberg and James Carville, has such interesting numbers.
The poll, of 1,000 white likely voters in Louisiana, 456 of them identifying as “persuadable,” was conducted from Oct. 11-14. It appears to have been a marathon with a whole bunch of questions, some of which may have been aimed at trying to move the vote for Landrieu (although there are some Cassidy-friendly questions as well), but the most important one for our purposes was this one…
As you can see, Landrieu is at 25 with the white vote. And the Democracy Corps poll doesn’t show a whole lot of flexibility; she’s got less than one percent of leaners and there are only four percent undecided.
Meaning that according to this Landrieu’s maximum share of the white vote, as demonstrated in a Democrat poll which is about as gold-standard as you’ll find on that side of the aisle, is 29 percent. That’s short of the 31 percent she’s going to need in the best of circumstances – namely, that she runs the black share of the vote up to 30 percent and gets 95 percent of that vote – in order to climb over 50 percent on Election Night.
It doesn’t appear that December is any better than November for Landrieu; there is no reason to think the turnout model will be the same or get better for her for the runoff. And she still has the same problem. Landrieu is going to need Cassidy to make a major mistake if she’s going to win this race.