Incumbent Senate Democrat Mary Landrieu lost her run-off election in Louisiana to Republican Bill Cassidy. Part of the reason is that she was abandoned by fellow Democrats, who are now doing to their party what the tea party has done to Republicans, refusing to support the ideologically impure. Now Republicans will have a majority of 4.
In the final insult of a devastating 2014 election for Democrats, Sen. Mary Landrieu, the party’s last remaining statewide officeholder from the Deep South, was trounced Saturday in the head-to-head Louisiana Senate runoff election.
Republican Bill Cassidy’s resounding victory is the ninth Senate seat picked up by the GOP in this year’s elections, three more than the party needed to take control of the chamber. With nearly all the ballots counted, Cassidy led Landrieu by 14 points, 57 percent to 43 percent.
“On November 4th, the American people sent a message that they didn’t like the direction our country was heading,” Cassidy said in his victory speech. “Our state is the exclamation mark on that message.”His win gives Republicans a four-seat cushion going into 2016, when the party is seeking to protect its first Senate majority since 2006. The next election cycle’s Senate map is as bad for Republicans as this year’s was for Democrats, with the GOP forced to defend seven seats in states President Barack Obama carried twice.
Landrieu, the three-term incumbent who chairs the Senate Energy Committee, found herself cut off and left for dead by national Democrats after party strategists decided she had no realistic path to victory in Saturday’s Bayou State runoff. She lost much of her clout when Democrats lost their majority, and her failure to pass legislation to move forward with the Keystone XL pipeline in the lame duck session last month made her look politically impotent.