BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy has denied Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana a fourth term, calling his Senate victory “the exclamation point” on midterm elections that put Republicans in charge on Capitol Hill for President Barack Obama’s last two years in office.
With nearly all votes counted, unofficial returns showed Cassidy with a commanding victory in Saturday’s runoff as he ousted the last of the Senate’s Deep South Democrats. In the South, Democrats will be left without a single U.S. senator or governor across nine states stretching from the Carolinas to Texas.
The Louisiana race mirrored contests in other states this election season, with Landrieu, 59, joining Alaska Sen. Mark Begich, North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan and Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor in defeat. Democrats ceded seats in Montana, South Dakota and West Virginia after incumbents opted not to run again.
Like victorious Republicans in those races, Cassidy, a 57-year-old Illinois native, made his bid against Landrieu more about Obama than about his own vision for the job.
In a state where 73 percent of white voters on Nov. 4 told pollsters they “strongly disapproved” of the president, that was enough to prevent Landrieu from finding her footing as she tried several lines of attack.