Democrats Already Riding to Landrieu’s Aid

Super PAC airs ad hitting Louisiana senator’s opponent as her own approvals tumble.

Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La. Landrieu is part of a Louisiana political dynasty. Her father, Moon Landrieu, was mayor of New Orleans in the 1970s, and her brother, Mitch Landrieu, is the city's current mayor. But Landrieu's 1995 run for governor was anything but a coronation. She finished a disappointing third place in the primary. But she recovered quickly, winning her Senate seat the following year.
National Journal
Alex Roarty
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Alex Roarty
Dec. 13, 2013, 5:25 a.m.

Demo­crats are bring­ing out the heavy ar­til­lery in Louisi­ana.

Two days after Demo­crat­ic Sen. Mary Landrieu’s cam­paign re­leased its first TV ad, the Sen­ate Ma­jor­ity PAC an­nounced Fri­day it would hit the air­waves with its own spot. But while Landrieu’s ad fo­cused en­tirely on her sup­port for Obama­care — and her ef­forts to fix some as­pects of the law — the out­side group’s ad takes dir­ect aim at one of her op­pon­ents, Re­pub­lic­an Rep. Bill Cas­sidy. The third-party or­gan­iz­a­tion said it would run the ad statewide.

The sud­den me­dia sat­ur­a­tion, 11 months be­fore Elec­tion Day, un­der­scores the three-term sen­at­or’s pre­cari­ous stand­ing in her reelec­tion race, which has been made con­sid­er­ably worse by the troubled rol­lout of Obama­care. Just as Pres­id­ent Obama’s ap­prov­al rat­ings have sunk, so too have Landrieu’s.

The ad surge is an at­tempt to re­pair her im­age with Louisi­ana voters while de­fin­ing her chief op­pon­ent, Cas­sidy, early. The Ma­jor­ity PAC ad didn’t step gingerly in­to the fray either, cri­ti­ciz­ing him for want­ing to lim­it ac­cess to So­cial Se­cur­ity and cut Medi­care.

The theme of the 30-second spot, which men­tions Cas­sidy’s sup­port for the gov­ern­ment shut­down, is to por­tray the House mem­ber as part of the prob­lem in Wash­ing­ton. Demo­crat­ic strategists have said they think the Sen­ate GOP’s re­li­ance on House can­did­ates this cycle of­fers an open­ing to paint them, not the Demo­crat­ic in­cum­bents, as the main prob­lem with a dys­func­tion­al Con­gress. “He’d hurt us even more in the Sen­ate,” the ad says.

Landrieu has also been the tar­get of an ad blitz over the past two months. The well-fun­ded con­ser­vat­ive group Amer­ic­ans for Prosper­ity has run $1.6 mil­lion worth of ads in the Pel­ic­an State in the past 60 days, ac­cord­ing to a spokes­man. Demo­crats are adam­ant that such ads won’t go un­answered, even if their own buys are far smal­ler. Sen­ate Ma­jor­ity PAC last week an­nounced it was go­ing on air in North Car­o­lina, where AFP has spent $3.5 mil­lion.

“For our or­gan­iz­a­tion spe­cific­ally, we have long stated that we are go­ing to fight back against out­side con­ser­vat­ive groups like AFP or Cross­roads, who are try­ing to buy Sen­ate seats,” said Ty Mastdorf, an ad­viser to the Demo­crat­ic-aligned group. “So when AFP is spend­ing mil­lions in places like Louisi­ana or North Car­o­lina, of course we are go­ing to re­spond and fight back.”

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