NEW ORLEANS, December 5, 2014 — The consensus among Louisiana political prognosticators is that it is time to smear some margarine on Democrat Senator Mary Landrieu. She is toast.
Republican Congressman Bill Cassidy has made the runoff Senate race a referendum on President Obama’s failed policies, including Obamacare. Cassidy is a medical doctor by training.
The days leading up to the election have shown a striking gap in enthusiasm between the two sides.
Landrieu is lashing out real opponents and manufactured imaginary enemies. She claimed that Cassidy would be taken to jail if he won the nomination. Democrats canceled advertising purchases for her as Republicans and conservatives from all over the country poured money and time into the race.
So desperate for attention, she even called conservative New Orleans radio host Jeff Crouere to request air time for an interview. After refusing to answer his simple questions, she filibustered, got belligerent, and hung up.
Meanwhile, the Cassidy people are taking no chances. They have been bringing out the big guns from all over the country. A mid-November rally featuring Sarah Palin and Duck Dynasty Patriarch Phil Robertson showed where the momentum was headed.
The Thursday before the election saw Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus stop at rallies in Kenner near the New Orleans airport and in Baton Rouge. Priebus is Wisconsin to the core, drawing laughs as the crowd reminded him that his Packers lost badly to the New Orleans Saints earlier this year. Priebus channeled the words of legendary Green Bay Packers Coach Vince Lombardi. Winning is what matters, and nobody just shows up and wins. Everything it takes to win comes down to work hard. The energized crowd knew that there was plenty of hard work left to do.
On the day before the election, a Cassidy Rally in the New Orleans suburb of Metarie was to feature Iowa Senator Joni Ernst.
While a recent poll had Cassidy up 24 points, nobody on the GOP side was taking the 57-33 lead for granted.
At a pair of GOP offices, volunteers were putting in very long hours. Hunter Hall had an army of dedicated professionals in Baton Rouge while Kristy Wilkinson was successfully spearheading the New Orleans Parish operation. Americans For Prosperity had plenty of volunteers knocking on doors in Shreveport. The phone calls were being made until as late as 9:00 p.m. at night every night.
Cassidy television commercials were everywhere. Landrieu’s supporters have all but retreated.
The one area where Landrieu may have had the tiniest advantage was on Bourbon Street in the French Quarter. Where every night is a party, pre-Mardi Gras revelers threw beads, drank strong mixed drinks, and danced late into the night. Panhandlers held up signs saying they needed money to by hard liquor and fund their sex change operations. Three people were spotted wearing t-shirts with the slogan “I’m for Mary.” Two of them were Landrieu supporters. The other one was a satire shirt endorsing Mary Jane, the code name for marijuana.
While Landrieu led two votes to zero among those disclosing, the remaining 99.999% of Bourbon Street revelers were less concerned at night about red states and blue states than about purple, green and yellow beads.
Outside of Bourbon Street, despite repeated warnings against complacency, the Cassidy camp has every reason to feel confident heading into Saturday’s election. For those wanting an official prediction, Cassidy staffers will offer one on Sunday after getting back from church. Until then, they have plenty of work to do.