At least on the television airwaves, Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., is facing what’s perhaps the end of her political career alone.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, super PACs and nonprofit groups, which together supported Landrieu’s general election campaign with more than 19,000 TV ads worth millions of dollars, have effectively abandoned her during her runoff against Republican Bill Cassidy, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of data from Kantar Media/CMAG, an ad tracking service.
Groups backing Landrieu have aired fewer than 100 TV ads since Nov. 5, with most of those coming from the Humane Society Legislative Fund.
That’s less than 1 percent of the 14,000 TV ads that have aired during the Landrieu vs. Cassidy runoff, which became necessary when no candidate earned 50 percent of the Election Day vote on Nov. 4.
Several conservative groups, meanwhile, have blasted Landrieu with nearly 6,000 ads since she advanced to the runoff.
Almost all of the ads have contained messages that attack Landrieu rather than promote Cassidy.
Leading the way among pro-Cassidy groups: the National Republican Senatorial Committee (which has aired more than 1,800), Koch brothers-backed super PAC Freedom Partners Action Fund (about 1,350), super PAC American Crossroads (nearly 1,100) and the National Rifle Association of America Institute for Legislative Action (nearly 900).
Cassidy’s own campaign has aired about 5,000 TV ads, besting the 3,000 ads that Landrieu’s campaign has run through Monday.
That stands in stark contrast to the first stage of the election, when Landrieu and her allies sponsored nearly two-thirds of the more than 76,000 TV ads that ran through Nov. 4.
Through mid-October, Landrieu’s campaign reported spending about $15.5 million on her re-election efforts, nearly double the $7.9 million spent by Cassidy. As of Nov. 16, Cassidy’s campaign reported having nearly $1.3 million on hand, while Landrieu’s campaign reported having about $783,000, according to their most recent round of financial disclosures filed with the Federal Election Commission.
Two factors have conspired to sink Democrats’ enthusiasm for investing in the race.
Recent polls, for one, show Cassidy with a significant lead over Landrieu, who’s served in the U.S. Senate since 1997.
And a Landrieu victory has no implications on which party controls the U.S. Senate next year, as Republicans easily seized a majority on Election Day.
The runoff is scheduled for Saturday, with early voting having begun Nov. 22.
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