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Sunday, December 11, 2016

Democrats had a miserable Election Day, but they still have a chance to salvage one more win from the midterms. Because no candidate won over 50 percent of the vote in Louisiana’s Senate election, the race has advanced to a December 6 runoff between Democratic senator Mary Landrieu and Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy. And, with nothing left to lose, Landrieu is pulling out all the stops.

On Sunday, Landrieu’s campaign released a new ad featuring footage of an awkward Cassidy struggling through a speech to the Repbulican Leadership Conference in May.

Although the ad does note Cassidy’s support for the Ryan budget, it mainly focuses on his poor speaking skills, which the narrator slams as “nearly incoherent.”

“We’d lose Mary Landrieu’s clout for this?” the narrator asks, as an onscreen graphic invites viewers to watch the entire speech.

The ad follows one of the central themes of Landrieu’s re-election campaign. The three-term incumbent has argued that, as the top Democrat on the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Louisiana needs her experience more than it needs to rebuke President Obama by sending a Republican to Washington. Ironically, after Democrats’ lack of enthusiasm doomed many of their candidates on Election Day, Landrieu is hoping that Republicans will see voting for Cassidy again as a less urgent task now that a Republican Senate majority is assured.

Landrieu’s odds appear to be long. Although Landrieu’s campaign is still running ads like the one above, the Democratic Sentaorial Campaign Committee pulled the plug on its planned ad spending on her behalf. By contrast, the National Republican Senatorial Committee has reserved $2.3 million worth of ad time between now and the runoff election, and conservative outside groups are spending millions more to put Cassidy over the top.

Cassidy is a strong favorite to win on December 6. After splitting the conservative vote with fellow Republican Rob Maness on Nov. 4 — Cassidy won 42 percent of the state, while Manness won 14 percent — Cassidy is consolidating GOP support. No polling on the runoff has been released since the first round of voting, but the Real Clear Politics average of pre-election polls finds Cassidy leading Landrieu by 4.8 percent in a head-to-head matchup.

Screenshot: YouTube

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