It is typical for right-leaning publications like the Washington Examiner and even here at the Hayride to critique the Louisiana Senate race and profess that incumbent Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) does not stand a chance in the December run-off with Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA).
However, even the very left-leaning Washington Post is saying Landrieu’s chances of beating Cassidy for the Senate seat is “very, very low.”
In the analysis of the Nov. 4 Senate race, the Post points out that Landrieu won more overall votes in the populous parishes across the state, but that means relatively nothing in the run-off election with Cassidy.
Because Col. Rob Maness, the long-shot conservative in the Senate race, is out and backing Cassidy now, Landrieu will be hit with the odds against her in the run-off.
Even if Landrieu were a Republican incumbent, last Tuesday was bad news. Usually when people pull the “X percent of the state opposed Candidate Y,” it’s because Candidate Y’s opponent is trying to put a good face on getting beaten badly. But in a race with a well known incumbent, that so many people voted for someone else is not a good sign.
And, the Post reports that turnout in the run-off is bound to change in a way which will damage Landrieu increase Cassidy’s chances.
So let’s figure out how turnout will change. The answer is: It will go down. In 2012, a House run-off race saw a 69 percent drop in turnout. But that was from a presidential race. If you figure that turnout last week was only 73 percent of 2012 turnout statewide, we can assume that turnout in the runoff will be about 50 percent lower than last week. (Well, 42 percent, specifically, but you knew that, smart guy.)
Because it is a run-off election, that means more informed, news-oriented voters will vote. Those kind of voters are normally older adults, which generally means more votes for Cassidy.
If you were to flatly assume that every voter who voted for a Republican last week will vote for Cassidy and every voter who backed a Democrat will vote for Landrieu, Cassidy would win by 180,000 votes. If you lop half of the turnout off of that you get … Cassidy winning by 90,000. (Makes sense, right?) That’s assuming that the turnout is the same party split.
The outcome, the Post reports, is that Landrieu pretty much doesn’t have a chance. And what makes her chances even worse is that the national Democratic Party has deemed her run-off race a lost cause, mainly because the Republicans hold the Senate with or without her.
What do you think? Does Landrieu have a chance?