Democrat Mary Landrieu might have stood a better chance of victory had she run on touchstone liberal Democratic issues.
That was the argument of a Louisiana political science professor whom Time magazine's Alex Rogers turned to for comment in its post-mortem of the senior Louisiana senator's landslide loss on Saturday to Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy.
[S]he also could have run a better campaign. A few weeks ago she tried to display her clout as head of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources by pushing through a bill to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, which failed by one vote. Even if it had gone through it wouldn’t have helped her much, says Joshua Stockley, an assistant professor of political science at the University of Louisiana at Monroe.
“I think that was a bad decision,” he said. “Here in Louisiana the average voter isn’t running around thinking ‘Man, I really wish we had a pipeline right now. Man, I really think oil and gas were cheaper.’ We’re already dealing with the lowest price per bill we’ve seen in decades. … Our day to day conversations aren’t dictated by the Keystone pipeline.”
Stockley says that she could have better emphasized issues like raising the minimum wage, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, Violence Against Women Act and her efforts to keep some major military bases afloat and to reduce college debt. It’s clear, however, that despite Landrieu’s campaigning on these and other issues, one broad statistic—“Mary Landrieu voted with Obama 97% of the time”—was the major theme in the race.
Louisiana voters don't care for President Obama, and it's not something you can write off as simply personal. They disapprove of his economic agenda and his economic management, and a Democrat like Landrieu who has been part and parcel of defending that administration through her inability or unwillingness to challenge Majority Leader Harry Reid has only herself to blame for running afoul of her constituents.
It's risible that Landrieu lost because she did not embrace the liberal policy priorities of the Left.