Democrats start negative onslaught against Cassidy
Likely dispirited from a debate that did nothing to change the race’s dynamics, and with panic rising after more and intense polling confirmation that Sen. Mary Landrieu’s campaign was on the ropes, expect now that Louisiana Democrats will engage in the most terrific mudslinging ever seen in the state in order to stop Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy from poaching her current seat.
With several recent polls all showing Cassidy having a heads-up lead, some beyond a poll’s margin of error, Democrats prayerfully hoped Cassidy would make some extremely controversial utterance in the course of the first of two candidate debates, held previously this week. He didn’t, perhaps because of the mundane mien of the gastroenterologist that some find a liability.
Which, in the reduced state Democrats find themselves in, suddenly has become an attack line. According to (the only Louisiana) Democrat Rep. Cedric Richmond, who nobody ever could mistake for being a medical doctor or even reasonably intelligent when making remarks like this, Cassidy is “weird,” and lacking the ability to say anything of substance about Cassidy falls back to playing the race card in the inane accusation that Cassidy’s campaign is all about “a picture of a black man [Pres. Barack Obama] and a white woman [Landrieu] up there in Louisiana to stoke fear and all the worst feelings in people.”
This initial foray, representative of what psychologists term “displacement” where the subject projects his own insecurities and motives onto his opponent, probably will end up mild compared to what’s coming. Democrats’ senses of insecurity rose dramatically when the latest poll came out only hours after the debate. Taken during the first part of the week, it revealed that while the general election choice has Landrieu at 41 percent, Cassidy at 38 percent, mid-major Republican Rob Maness at 14 percent, minor candidates collecting 2 percent, and 5 percent undecided, in a runoff between the two major candidates, Cassidy blows out Landrieu 52-43. (Oddly -- or perhaps not -- none of Louisiana's mainstream media ran a story, or included this information in a related story, about this information within the first 24 hours of its release.)
Put another way, had Maness not run, Cassidy would be in the Landrieu red zone now on the way to high-stepping it into the end zone on Nov. 4. As the numbers infer, Landrieu would collect most of the tiny number of votes from others while Cassidy would get almost all of Maness’ (with the undecided respondents most likely not to vote, while most of the few that do will go for Cassidy).
Worse for Democrats, the numbers shift between election in the poll indicates a huge portion of Maness voters will tap the button for Cassidy, rather than sit it out or go for Landrieu. With these dynamics, she has no path to victory, as is the case with any incumbent historically who barely cracked 40 percent three weeks out from the election.
They know this, and so there’s only one thing they can do – scare the living daylights out of their base in hopes of inflating its turnout. Given that Landrieu’s latest campaign cash haul, slightly exceeding Cassidy’s $2.5 million, lends plenty of flammable potential, do not be surprised at any of the wild, fact-impaired calumnies she and Democrats will spread against Cassidy. If, for example, you see anonymous flyers (with no way to trace their origins and who paid for them) appearing around lower socioeconomic neighborhoods in the state’s larger cities that claim Cassidy was part of a plot of white doctors who invented the Ebola virus as a means of decimating blacks to carry out their racist fantasies (if it’s good enough for AIDS …), be aware that you were warned.
Also expect Maness to be tested. At some point, perhaps even now having been reached, Democrat desperation will induce the party’s activists to start donating to his campaign, banking on him thinking the only way he can win (which realistically would happen now only if the man proclaimed too dull for Louisiana got caught with a live boy or a dead girl) will be to attack Cassidy as well. Regardless, Maness would fall well short, and while Democrats know such attacks would not detach Cassidy voters that immediately attach to Landrieu, they hope this would discourage too many of the detached or Maness voters from turning out for the general election runoff. It will be interesting to see if many previous big donors to Landrieu, starting this week, make sizable contributions to Maness, and then whether he takes the bait to perform as their useful idiot.
Make no mistake, the ones trying to drag the contest to a lower common denominator by instilling fear and loathing will be Richmond and his ilk allied with Landrieu. Without relying upon Cassidy to make huge mistakes, they know only by following the liberal playbook of when it has (inevitably) lost on the issues to attack without mercy or veracity in every available manner does she even have the slightest chance of saving her political skin.
Posted by Jeff Sadow at 09:25