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February 6, 2016

Correcting the (Politico) Record on Louisiana

I had to laugh when I saw the headline in the Nov. 4 paper edition of Politico: “Louisiana Key to GOP Senate Control.”

Of course the Pelican State is a key. But so are Alaska, North Carolina, Kentucky, Montana and at least a couple of other states. They are all keys, since they all play a part in the GOP’s effort to net six Senate seats a year from now. Louisiana is no more of a key than any of those other states.

But it wasn’t only the headline that caught my attention. There was also an odd assertion that if additional Republicans enter the Senate race, the GOP vote would be split. “That will increase the chances that Landrieu could win outright with more than 50 percent of the vote — or the Republican candidate will be badly bruised heading into the runoff.”

Of course, the first point is simply wrong, while the second conclusion is speculative.

But Politico reporter Ginger Gibson wasn’t content to make this inaccurate point only once. She did it again, 15 paragraphs later, when she wrote, “The more Republicans in the field, the more difficult it becomes for Cassidy to win outright or advance to a runoff on the first ballot and the easier it becomes for Landrieu to avoid one.”

Come again?

In reality, additional candidates in the race would not increase the chances that Landrieu would avoid a runoff.

Additional names on the ballot, no matter their party, would lessen the chances that any single candidate would win a major of the total vote, Landrieu included. Oddly, Gibson demonstrated that in her piece, when she pointed to a recent Public Policy Polling poll showing Landrieu at 50 percent in a two-way contest against Cassidy but at only 48 percent in a three-way contest that includes both Cassidy and little-known hopeful Rob Maness.

It’s true, obviously, that additional GOP candidates make it impossible for Cassidy to win outright in the jungle primary, but I know of nobody who is talking about that happening now. In fact, Cassidy’s chances improve in a runoff, since the timing of that balloting, in December, probably makes it more difficult for the Democrats to turn out some of their core constituencies.

Finally, the addition of more Republicans into the race does not automatically mean the GOP nominee who makes the runoff will be “badly bruised.” It all depends on how strong the other Republican hopefuls are and the kind of campaigns they run.

  • Mojojojo

    Gibson’s 1st point is 100% right. Potential Senate Republican pickups, most to least likely: SD, WV, MT, AR, AK, Louisiana, NC. Few dispute this order, polls/ fundamentals support it. Republicans need 6 to flip the Senate. Louisiana is 6th.

    On the 2nd point, I actually agreed after reading the article until I thought about it more. Numerically, a 2nd conservative candidate does lower everyone’s votes, and a runoff is likelier. But politically, 2 viable conservatives means a brutal tea party primary during a general election, ceding swing votes from both to Landrieu. She seems to agree, as she’s a huge proponent of the jungle primary.

    • Rich-3

      I think you missed his point when he said that it did indeed depend on the other republicans running. Every scenario has an if but Stu is right on the broad picture except with the way things are right now and that is only right now I think it is more likely the republican will be on top of the numbers instead of LA Purchase Mary. She has won in the past against not so good republicans while she pretended to be more conservative and independent but that will change this time. She will lose the conservative and independent side of her but she still may face a bad republican and pull it out but it will be harder as even in the past she barely won against bad opponents.

  • Lamb Chop

    Keep hammering away at Mary Landrieu by calling her : A Good German.
    Those three words are so replete with meaning, that several historical books on WWII have been written about that euphemism for those Germans who conveniently feigned ignorance about the horrors of the Holocaust, while witnessing their next-door neighbors being hauled off in the middle of the night by the Gestapo never to return. That odious phrase was also bandied about by German soldiers who, to a man, insisted they only fought on the Russian front when surrendering to American soldiers in Berlin.

    The association will be clear and stark. Just like the good Germans followed der Fuhrer like sheep, so too did Mary Landriueu and her ilk in following the dictate of Stinky Hunsecker on OBAMACARE.

    Suffice it to say, she had as much interest in the contents of that odious and document as the typical good German had about the welfare of their doomed neighbor.

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