With less than a week before the last U.S. Senate race of 2014, all signs point to a landslide win by Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy over Louisiana’s Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu.
A recent Rasmussen Poll
showed Cassidy leading Landrieu by a margin of 56-41 percent among likely voters statewide, while a Magellan Poll showed near-identical results with Cassidy leading 57 to 41 per cent.
Should Cassidy emerge triumphant over three-termer Landrieu, the results on Dec. 6 will be nothing short of historic. Along with a Landrieu loss marking the first time a sitting senator from the Pelican State has been defeated since 1932 (when Rep. John Overton ousted fellow Democrat and Sen. Edwin Broussard), the victory of physician-congressman Cassidy will give Republicans in the 114th Congress 54 Senate seats — the party’s largest number in 18 years.
The most Senate seats Republicans have had since World War II is 55, a number they reached three times.
"As of today, with about 47.8 percent of Louisianans voting early, 38.8 percent of that number are Republicans," State GOP Chairman Roger Villere told Newsmax on Monday.
"In November, when nearly 50% voted early, 33% of that number were Republicans and Dr. Cassidy came within a percentage point of overtaking [Landrieu] in the first race.
"So with less people voting early and more of them Republicans, I’d say we were in pretty good shape."
Because the third candidate in the initial contest, tea party Republican and retired U.S. Air Force Col. Robert Maness, drew 17 percent of the vote and thus denied the two top vote-getters a majority, Landrieu and Cassidy must square off on Saturday.
Maness and his supporters have since come out strongly in favor of fellow Republican Cassidy.
"I’ve known Bill for more than 30 years and he’s a good, decent guy," Maness backer and former State Rep. Woody Jenkins told Newsmax. "Now some of us felt Rob was the stronger conservative but Bill has since made it clear he’s one of us on all the key issues."
In a statement accepting the endorsement of Jenkins (who was Landrieu’s first opponent for the Senate in 1996), Cassidy took the opportunity to "reach out to my conservative friends and make my position clear on a number of important issues."
He specifically cited his "100 percent pro-life voting record," 100 percent rating with the Family Research Council, A+ rating from the National Rifle Association, and work with Sen. David Vitter (R.-La.) on a bill "that would stop the flow of illegal aliens across our border."
As he did throughout the initial contest leading up to November, Cassidy also underscored his record of voting to repeal or defund Obamacare more than 50 times and commitment to "repeal and replace" the controversial healthcare plan.
Chairman Villere told us that "everyone" has been in the state to stump for Cassidy, meaning such national Republicans figures as Sens. Rand Paul (Ky.), Marco Rubio (Fla.), and Texas Gov. Rick Perry. On Thursday, he added, "[Republican National Chairman] Reince Priebus will be here to encourage our county chairmen and election day volunteers."
Asked if there is any one issue that has united state and national Republicans on Cassidy’s behalf, Villere replied without hesitation: "Obama. Not Obamacare, or the executive action he took on behalf of illegal immigration or the way he’s handling Iraq, but Obama. People know [Landrieu] voted with him 97 percent of the time and they want to send a message."
On Monday, the president joined Landrieu in a conference call to offer his endorsement to the embattled senator. According to a tweet from the Louisiana Democratic Party, Obama said that she "has been an outstanding advocate on behalf of Louisiana working families every step of the way."
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.
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