Well, this isn’t likely to send all the national money flowing back into Louisiana:

According to a new internal poll, Representative Bill Cassidy has a big lead over Democratic incumbent Mary Landrieu in Lousiana’s Senate runoff, which takes place a little over three weeks from now. He’s leading her 56 percent to 40 percent in a survey by Magellan Strategies. The poll’s sample is 27 percent African-American, which may be a little lower than the electorate that shows up on the day of the runoff, December 6.

Landrieu got 42 percent of the vote on Election Day, a jungle primary with a 50 percent threshold for victory, while Cassidy got 41 percent and another Republican got 14 percent. Magellan’s poll is the first publicly released during the runoff, but polls before the primary showed Cassidy with a respectable lead in a two-candidate race.

The poll is here, via my Louisianan friend Ellen Carmichael, who isn’t quite so bullish on the final run-off results, which she predicts will be about half this margin.

McConnell, Cassidy, Reid, and Landrieu have been playing a sophisticated game of ping-pong all week, volleying committee assignments and dueling Keystone proposals across the net at one another, as Noah detailed:

Calling it the Hoeven-Landrieu Bill, the embattled Louisiana senator insisted that the project had been delayed for far too long. “We believe the bill that we drafted could gain support in the House of Representatives and could potentially receive the signature of the president of the United States which is important and necessary for this bill to become law,” Landrieu later told reporters.

The Republican House is not playing along with the Pelican State senator’s gambit. The lower chamber is expected to advance a nearly identical bill on Thursday that would also approve of the pipeline. That bill’s lead sponsor will be Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Landrieu’s GOP opponent against whom she faces off in a December 6 runoff election.

“The House has passed legislation to expedite the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline eight times,” read a statement released by Cassidy. “The Senate did not consider any of the eight. I will now pass a bill identical to the bill the Senate is said to consider to push this issue forward.”

“On Wednesday, incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that Cassidy would get a seat on the Senate Energy Committee if he beats Landrieu in the runoff,” The New Orleans Times-Picayune reported, robbing Landrieu of her last, best appeal to her state’s voters.

But one imagines the latest moves by Landrieu, including the comically useless vote against Reid as Minority Leader, are too little too late, especially to overcome a double-digit lead.