Ratings Change: Louisiana Senate Moves from Tilt Republican To Lean Republican

by Nathan L. Gonzales November 6, 2014 · 3:20 PM EST

There was a chance that the entire country would be spending the month of November focused on Louisiana as the Senate majority hinged on the fate of Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu in a December runoff. That scenario has evaporated, but is the race still worth watching?

Landrieu finished first on Nov. 4, but with just 42 percent. GOP Rep. Bill Cassidy finished second with 41 percent, followed by Republican Rob Maness at 14 percent. For some perspective, Landrieu won re-election in 2008 with 52 percent, without a runoff. In 2002, Landrieu received 46 percent in the initial primary and 52 percent. My colleague, Stu Rothenberg, will have a deeper analysis about that race and this year’s contest early next week.

But the bottom line is that to continue to call the race Toss-Up/Tilt Republican is an understatement of Landrieu’s challenge in the runoff. According to POLITICO, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has cut back its television ad reservations. And the senator has deeper problems than ever before.

As I wrote in the Sept. 24 edition of the Rothenberg Political Report, Landrieu has deep problems with white, male voters. In 2008, she lost white men by a whopping 67 percent to 32 percent, but that was still enough for a 52 percent victory. In pre-election polling this time, Landrieu was hovering in the mid-20s with male voters. According to the exit polls on Election Night, the senator received support from just 15 percent of white men. It’s tough to see how Landrieu turns that trend around in a few weeks.

We are changing our Rothenberg Political Report rating of the race from Toss-Up/Tilt Republican to Lean Republican.