The race for the United States Senate seat in Louisiana currently held by Mary Landrieu is one of the more interesting ones in the nation today. Under Louisiana state law, the election will be a blanket primary. This means that all primary candidates are allowed to run on election day, Nov. 4. Additionally, if no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote the top two must face a runoff in December. With eight candidates currently in the race, this seems to be an almost certain outcome at this point.
The incumbent is Senator Mary Landrieu, who has held the seat since 1996. Landrieu is one of the most moderate members of the Senate, being mostly fiscally conservative and somewhat conservative on several social issues, as well. On The Issues scores her as being as close to the middle as can be, and she has supported and opposed presidents of both parties on numerous issues. The biggest albatross around her neck is her support of The Affordable Care Act, and her opponents have attempted to tie her to President Obama on this issue with their campaign ads. It won’t help her much having a “D” after her name in a year where the GOP looks to make big gains across the nation.
Due to the peculiarities of the Louisiana primary system, there are also three other Democrats in the race. The first is Wayne Ables, a former oil industry worker who is running to the right of Landrieu. He is running primarily on economic issues with a big focus on idealism, though his ideas lack in detail or practicality. He looks to be running mostly to make a statement about his dissatisfaction with his party and to try to influence the debate rather than attempting to win.
The next democrat in line is Vallian Senegal. She is an educator and social worker who is positioning herself as the working middle class candidate. She too is dissatisfied with the Democrat Party and is attempting to appeal as a populist the the voters in Louisiana. She is also not above playing the race card when she feels it is necessary. While it’s difficult to see what her stances are on the issues, as those areas are left blank on both her website and Facebook page, she is big on populist rhetoric.
The final Democrat is William Waymire Jr. Another candidate that is running as an outsider, he is big on speaking with a lot of conservative terminology. If one were to simply listen to what he says they would assume he is a right wing Republican, calling for a return to prayer in schools, repeal of Obamacare, and locking the borders down.
The front running Republican is Representative Bill Cassidy. He is running as an establishment Republican, and his main campaign strategy is to point out the associations Landrieu has with such extremists as Michael Bloomberg as well as to try to both tie her to Obama and paint her as a flip flopper. He too is running as a right-wing conservative, but his ideas are a little more well-developed than the conservative challengers of the Democrat Party. As in, he actually has ideas instead of just rhetoric. Whether or not his ultra conservative ideas will actually play with voters remains to be seen, however.
The second Republican challenger is Tom Clements. He is running on a narrow platform that boils down to “vote for me because I am a born leader and some people in my family tree were in the military.” The only issue stances available on his campaign website are that he opposes ObamaCare, Common Core, and the Federal Government in general.
The final Republican in the race is Rob Maness, who is also running on his military record, though he goes into greater detail on his past in the armed forces. Aside from Cassidy and Landrieu, he is the only candidate getting any respect from the media. He was allowed to join in the debates, to the exclusion of all other candidates save the two leaders. He is positioning himself as the true agent of change, implying that Landrieu and Cassidy are virtually indistinguishable from one another on the major issues.
The final candidate in the race is Libertarian Brannon McMorris. This name should be no stranger to longtime yeahstub.com readers, as we conducted an interview with him back in August. He is running as a pure Libertarian, advocating for personal rights and liberties, as well as a reduction in the government interfering in peoples’ everyday lives.
Most current polls disagree whether Landrieu or Cassidy is the overall leader, though none give either the 50 percent needed to avoid a runoff. The state is currently leaning Republican in many ways other than this race, as is most of the country. The race is almost certain to end in a runoff in December, as the most generous polls give the front runners only around 38 percent.