. Back in 2002, she was able to stage a dramatic come from behind victory against her GOP challenger through the aid of a false story that curiously got published in a small Mexican newspaper within two weeks of the election. A friend of mine who works at
purported that the Bush administration had cut a secret deal to dump cheap foreign sugar into Louisiana which would devastate local sugar cane farmers still recovering from Hurricane Lili.While the story eventually proved false, Landrieu touted that it confirmed her credentials as supporting President Bush 80% of the time, but remaining independent when it suited Louisiana.
This time around, there is no such condition that can be exploited. In addition, voting patterns have changed dramatically over the past decade. Her political fortunes would depend on the degree to which she supported policies that benefit Louisiana. Her record of voting closely in support of the president’s agenda made it difficult to persuade voters to support her.
Many in the press have touted that she won the vote in the midterm election, but failed to capture the 50% needed to avoid a runoff. While technically true, the statement is deceiving. She never stood a chance to capture 50% of the vote. The Tea Party refused to accept Bill Cassidy, the GOP establishment’s candidate, and ran a separate campaign. The combined vote of the top two GOP candidates was 54%. A unified GOP party would have given Cassidy a landslide victory in November. Since that time, the Tea Party candidate has endorsed Cassidy all but guaranteeing his victory.