With the runoff just two days away in Louisiana’s Senate race, the excitement of the final contest in the 2014 midterms is so thick one could cut it with a knife … at least on the GOP side. Since independent pollsters gave up on the finale of Mary Landrieu’s Senate career, Republican pollsters are the only ones taking surveys — or at least the only ones publishing the results. The Washington Examiner’s David Drucker takes a look at the latest results from WPA Opinion Research, working on behalf of the conservative group Independent Women’s Voice, and finds Bill Cassidy out in front of the incumbent by 24 points:
Cassidy led Landrieu 57 percent to 33 percent in the survey conducted Nov. 24-25 by WPA Opinion Research for Independent Women’s Voice. His victory would bring the number of Republican Senate seats captured in this year’s midterm elections to nine, topping off the new GOP majority at 54 seats. The poll of 500 likely voters had an error margin of 4.4 percentage points.
“Cassidy has the lead among all gender age groups and enjoys a [sizable] lead among independent voters,” WPA Opinion Research said in a memo.
“Moreover, based on current projections, even if African-Americans support Landrieu at 95% and turnout in record numbers, she will still lose on Election Day.”
The best that Landrieu can manage in the gender demos is a ten-point deficit among women 55 years of age and older. Cassidy gets 61% of women between 18-54 years of age to just 32% for Landrieu. The gap actually narrows slightly with men in the same age range, going 56/31 for Cassidy. Independent voters give Cassidy an astonishing 44-point lead, 67/23.
As noted, bear in mind that this is a Republican-leaning pollster. Normally analysts would treat results from partisan pollsters with a little skepticism, but in this race that’s all we’re seeing. According to the Real Clear Politics poll average (which does not yet include this poll), the closest survey to this was another Republican poll taken a week before Thanksgiving, which showed Cassidy up 26 points, 60/34, and a small local firm (JMC) taken at the same time that had Cassidy up 53/38. Rasmussen’s the only independent national pollster watching the race, and they came up with a 15-point Cassidy lead as well. The way Republican pollsters are seeing the race, a 15-point loss might be seen as a moral victory for Landrieu.
What’s telling is that other pollsters are either not surveying the only race with national interest left to resolve, or aren’t publishing the results if they are. There is a notable lack of leaks from Landrieu’s internal polling, for instance, which speaks volumes about what they’re seeing. The traditional Democrat-leaning pollsters have also been awfully quiet, like PPP — whose final pre-Nov 4th poll showed that a runoff election between Cassidy and Landrieu would be a dead heat, 48/47. On Monday, PPP announced that they would do only one public poll in December, and that would be “our regular look at North Carolina,” whose Senate race got settled four weeks ago.
The way Democrats have behaved in this runoff also speaks volumes, the Washington Post reports today. They’re already blaming Landrieu for her campaign strategy while they cut her loose:
There remains the formality of a runoff election on Saturday — but as far as the national Democratic Party is concerned, three-term Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana is presumed dead. …
But national Democrats speak — not for attribution, of course— as though they have already left the field and headed for the locker room. Their dispirited donors, they say, are tapped out and unwilling to open their wallets for a lost cause.
All along, Landrieu’s biggest hurdle has been the political climate, which helped the Republicans take eight other Democratic-held Senate seats.
Party strategists also fault her campaign for disregarding advice from Washington and spending virtually all of its war chest on the November election, in hopes of avoiding a runoff. She got just over 42 percent of the vote in the eight-candidate field — eight percentage points shy of the showing she needed to win outright.
And not just the Democratic Party, either:
An analysis of data by Kantar Media/CMAG for the Center for Public Integrity found that outside groups allied with Cassidy have put up about 6,000 ads during the runoff period. That compares with fewer than 100 by those supporting Landrieu, whose most active supporter has been the Humane Society Legislative Fund.
It’s going to be ugly for Landrieu on Saturday, and it looks like everyone on the Left is hitting warp speed to escape from the stench.