As Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu defends her U.S. Senate seat in Louisiana, a new CNN/ORC International poll indicates the third-term incumbent carries a slim advantage over her closest GOP rival in the general election this November.
But this is Louisiana, and the election system can be complicated. There are nine candidates — Republicans, Democrats, and a Libertarian — on the ballot this November, and if no candidate crosses the 50% threshold, the race moves into a December runoff between the top two contenders.
Landrieu currently falls well below the 50% mark at 43% support among likely voters. Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy comes in second at 40%, according to the survey.
But the poll’s sampling error among likely voters is plus or minus four percentage points, meaning the two candidates are about even.
In a state with large swaths of conservative voters, Landrieu is considered one of the most vulnerable Democrats up for re-election this year. Republicans, eager to take control of the Senate, have focused on the race as a potential pick-up seat. The GOP needs a net gain of six seats to retake the majority.
If the horse race in Louisiana stays relatively the same, Landrieu and Cassidy would be the two candidates heading into the runoff — and that’s when things flip.
The poll indicates that Cassidy would fare slightly better in a runoff than Landrieu, 50%-47%.
Via CNN/ORC Poll
|Poll||Date||Sample||Cassidy (R)||Landrieu (D)||Spread|
|RCP Average||7/5 – 9/25||–||48.0||43.0||Cassidy +5.0|
|CNN/Opinion Research||9/22 – 9/25||610 LV||50||47||Cassidy +3|
|FOX News||9/14 – 9/16||617 LV||51||38||Cassidy +13|
|Rasmussen Reports||9/2 – 9/3||800 LV||44||41||Cassidy +3|
|CBS News/NYT/YouGov||7/5 – 7/24||LV||47||46||Cassidy +1|
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