- Franken Maintains Lead in Minnesota
- Senator's Refusal to Resign Changed South Dakota Politics
- Political Ads Flood the Airwaves
- Bonus Quote of the Day
- Rubio Changes Tune on Immigration
Posts in "La. Senate"
August 4, 2014
Three months before Election Day, it’s clear some senators may not return to Congress after the midterms — and that’s mostly good news for Republicans.
The GOP’s path to the Senate majority includes a mix of open seats and targeted Democratic incumbents. The two most vulnerable seats are in South Dakota and West Virginia, where Democratic senators are retiring. Republicans also have opportunities in open seats in Iowa and, to a lesser degree, Michigan.
But even if they are victorious in those states, the GOP must defeat at least two incumbents to reach the net six seats needed for control.
Luckily for Republicans, Democrats make up the vast majority of endangered senators seeking re-election. The GOP has a lengthy catalog of states where it has an opportunity to win, though there is a wide gap betweenthe No. 1 and No. 10 most vulnerable senators — who are ordered by most likely to lose.
Roll Call’s “10 Most Vulnerable Senators” list will be updated monthly ahead of the Nov. 4 elections. For now, here is where the incumbents stand: Full story
July 28, 2014
How does a female Democratic candidate in the South distance herself from President Barack Obama? Call on Dad.
Attorney Gwen Graham released a pair of ads Monday morning that did just that. Her father, former Sen. Bob Graham, made her case to voters.
Graham wasn’t the first. Two other candidates, nonprofit executive Michelle Nunn and Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, produced ads featuring their well-known politician fathers.
Here is a look at all three ads: Full story
July 14, 2014
State Rep. Paul Hollis, a Republican waging a bid in Louisiana’s competitive Senate contest, withdrew his candidacy Monday.
Hollis was running as a more conservative option to GOP Rep. Bill Cassidy, as Republicans challenge Democratic Sen. Mary L. Landrieu. His exit provides one less hurdle for Cassidy to advance to a runoff with Landrieu, but Cassidy’s main intraparty adversary remains: Rob Maness, a Sarah Palin-backed retired Air Force colonel.
Candidates have until Aug. 22 to file the necessary paperwork for a bid. Fewer candidates in the race — no matter the party — should give Landrieu slightly better odds of avoiding a runoff. The top-two finishers in the November jungle primary advance to a December runoff unless a candidate receives a majority of the vote. Full story
June 19, 2014
For all the money spent on the November elections, control of the Senate might not be decided until a Saturday three weeks before Christmas.
Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., hopes to win re-election outright on Nov. 4 in a jungle primary against a handful of challengers. But winning a majority of the vote in a multi-candidate field would be a significant feat, and the campaigns of both Landrieu and her leading Republican opponent, Rep. Bill Cassidy, are undoubtedly preparing for an extended, one-on-one race.
If a Dec. 6 runoff coincides with a 50-49 Republican advantage in the Senate, consultants in and out of the state warn of an unprecedented onslaught of spending from party committees and outside groups in a race that could become more about the national parties than the two candidates on the ballot.
“Mary kind of becomes a pawn in a much, much bigger game,” said Dane Strother, a Democratic media consultant and Baton Rouge native who’s worked on previous Landrieu campaigns. “The entire force of national politics will land on Louisiana. They’ll buy every radio ad, every TV ad, inundate with direct mail. It will be a war.” Full story
May 16, 2014
Welcome to the third edition of Roll Call’s feature that highlights the most interesting political ads of the week.
Here is what cut through the clutter:
Louisiana Senate: A Re-Election That Is Anything but the ‘Big Easy’
Ad buyer: Mary Landrieu for Louisiana
Ad buy: It is a $200,000 ad buy, per The Los Angeles Times.
The race: Democratic Sen. Mary L. Landrieu is running in a November jungle primary. Unless she takes 50 percent of the vote, she will head to a December runoff against a to-be-determined Republican rival. The race is rated a Tossup by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.
Landrieu is facing another competitive campaign, but her latest ad offers a glimpse of how she’s won multiple terms. In this spot, Landrieu’s father, former New Orleans Mayor Moon Landrieu, makes the case that the stubbornness of his daughter, the Pelican State’s three-term senior senator, protected Louisiana from great villains of recent years: BP, President Barack Obama and the rest of the Senate. Full story
May 9, 2014
Campaign Spot-Light: The Only Job Worse Than Being an Incumbent, Cheap Dads and Alligator Wrestling (Video)
Welcome to the second edition of Roll Call’s feature that highlights the most interesting political ads of the week.
Here is what cut through the clutter:
What’s Worse Than Being an Incumbent? Bein’ a Trial Law-yur
The first half of the montage features ads attacking tea party challengers as “trial lawyers.” Incumbents and friendly super PACs are making the calculation that labeling a tea party insurgent as a “trial lawyer” is a more lethal attack line than “Washington insider.”
March 7, 2014
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — Much of the attention surrounding the Conservative Political Action Conference is understandably focused on the plethora of Republicans here who may be running for president at this time next year.
But, mostly offstage and behind the scenes, a handful of tea-party-backed Senate candidates — each running uphill against better-funded Republicans — are here among the thousands of conservative activists. They’re shaking hands, meeting potential supporters and raising some money.
They include Matt Bevin of Kentucky and Milton Wolf of Kansas, each waging primary challenges to Republican senators. Also in attendance are lesser-known hopefuls Rob Maness of Louisiana, Greg Brannon of North Carolina and David Clements of New Mexico, plus Joe Miller of Alaska, who are fighting for their party’s nomination to take on Democratic senators.
Kentucky, Louisiana, Alaska and North Carolina are on the front lines of the battle for Senate control. Republicans need to pick up a net six seats to win the majority.
“It’s a good opportunity in one centralized location to meet as many people as possible, and get your name and face in front of them,” said Maness, a retired Air Force colonel who is battling GOP Rep. Bill Cassidy and Democratic Sen. Mary L. Landrieu in Louisiana’s jungle primary. Full story
February 12, 2014
Americans for Prosperity, a conservative outside group backed by Charles and David Koch, launched yet another stinging TV ad Wednesday against Sen. Mary L. Landrieu.
It’s the group’s latest ad targeting the Louisiana Democrat on President Barack Obama’s health care law. The group spent $750,000 on its latest three-week flight and has now spent $2.6 million in the state so far this cycle, according to AFP spokesman Levi Russell.
“Dear Miss Davis, we can no longer offer you the same policy,” one announcer says in a series of supposed notices sent by insurance companies. “Your doctor is no longer in the network, due to the Affordable Care Act.”
January 28, 2014
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said vulnerable Senate Democrats should and will invite President Barack Obama to campaign with them this year.
“Anytime the president of the United States appears supporting a candidate, it helps,” Reid said in an interview with CNN set to air at 7 p.m. He noted that Ronald Reagan’s appearances in Nevada in 1986 were unhelpful to his own first election to the Senate.
Asked if he would encourage his most endangered colleagues to invite the president, Reid said, “Yes, and they will.” Full story
January 21, 2014
Sen. David Vitter, R-La., announced Tuesday that he will run for governor next year, confirming the biggest open secret in Bayou State politics and on Capitol Hill.
“After much thought, prayer and discussion with Wendy and our children, I’ve decided to run for governor of Louisiana in 2015,” the second-term Republican says in a video on his redesigned campaign website. Full story
January 13, 2014
Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., and her top 2014 opponent, Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-La., are in a de facto race to pass competing flood insurance legislation pending in both chambers.
As one of this cycle’s most vulnerable incumbents, Landrieu has emphasized her seniority in her re-election. She’s argued it makes her a powerful voice for Louisiana in Washington — powerful enough to convince leaders to push forward flood insurance extension.
For Cassidy, getting enough support for the flood insurance bill would demonstrate an ability to put his state above the conservative politics that often drive the House GOP. Disaster relief, even though historically bipartisan, has proven to be a lightning rod over the past few years, with a near-revolt among GOP ranks over a delayed Hurricane Sandy relief bill in 2012. Full story
Senate Majority PAC has put more money behind an attack ad against Louisiana Rep. Bill Cassidy, the top Republican running against vulnerable Democratic Sen. Mary L. Landrieu in one of this cycle’s most competitive races.
The super PAC, which boosts Democratic Senate candidates, purchased an additional $344,000 in air time for an ad against Cassidy, according to spending report filed with the Federal Election Commission.
The ad, first released in December, hits Cassidy for his votes to raise the retirement age, as well as his votes to shut down the government. The initial buy for the 30-second ad was $250,000, according to documents filed with the FEC. Senate Majority PAC Campaigns Director Ty Matsdorf confirmed the additional funds would go toward continuing to air the following spot:
December 15, 2013
About halfway through the midterm election cycle, North Carolina is on pace to host the most expensive Senate race of 2014.
But the Tar Heel State shouldn’t necessarily get too comfortable in the top spot.
Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan’s re-election battle is one of at least four Senate contests where outside spending has already eclipsed the $2 million mark. The others include the re-election races of Sens. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., and Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
The potential for Republicans to win back the Senate majority, combined with the media-market makeup of the competitive landscape, has invited a superfluity of early spending. Republicans need a net gain of six seats next year, and most of the competitive races are for Democrat-held seats in less populous states.
“Given the president’s plummeting job approval ratings, there is growing optimism that Republicans can win back the Senate, and that’s why you’re seeing some very early spending in key U.S. Senate races,” GOP media consultant Erik Potholm said. “And Democrats, especially their vulnerable incumbents, are feeling that same pressure — that’s why Sens. Landrieu and Pryor are on the air.” Full story
December 12, 2013
Updated 9:31 a.m. | A Democrat-aligned super PAC has booked airtime in Louisiana, where Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., is facing one of the toughest re-election races in the country.
Senate Majority PAC’s first ad in the Bayou State criticizes GOP Rep. Bill Cassidy for voting to raise the retirement age, “to raise Medicare costs $6,000 per year” and to shut down the federal government.
Watch the ad here:
December 11, 2013
Louisiana Sen. Mary L. Landrieu launched the first TV ad of her re-election campaign on Wednesday, highlighting her bill that would allow individual health care plan holders to keep their insurance under Obamacare.
The ad is an effort to defend the third-term Democrat from GOP attacks over the president’s health care law that have already hit the Bayou State airwaves — with more sure to come.
“Thousands of Louisianians and millions of Americans that carried individual policies will now have an opportunity to keep those health care plans,” Landrieu campaign manager Adam Sullivan said in a statement. “The President made a promise, and Sen. Landrieu is working to make sure it is kept and will continue her legislative efforts to fix and improve the Affordable Care Act.”
According to a release, the ad, backed by a $250,000 buy, will air in the Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Alexandria, Shreveport and Monroe media markets.
Watch Keeping the Promise here: Full story