Already, the Republicans have three candidates set to be on the ballot, led by Rep. John Cooksey and Suzanne Haik Terrell, the state elections commissioner. Cooksey might be favored, but comes from neither New Orleans nor Cajun Country, the two largest voting blocs in the state. What the state Republican Party hopes will happen is that Landrieu, facing off against possibly four other opponents, will fail to get 50 percent of the vote in November, triggering the runoff and giving a Republican a chance to steal a seat during the runup to the holidays, when voter turnout might be lower than usual.
Landrieu barely won election her first time out in 1996 when she faced off in a runoff against Republican Woody Jenkins. At one point, Jenkins was favored to win that race but ultimately lost in a controversial squeaker. “If we get Landrieu in a runoff, we have a shot,” says an RNC pollster. “I don’t think we’re putting that seat in the winnable column yet, but it’s getting there. If the state party runs a smart campaign, we have a shot.”
And Republicans may have that shot thanks to another Democrat, former Rep. Cleo Fields. Fields has made some statements to the press that indicate he is mulling entering the race against Landrieu, or might endorse another African-American candidate to challenge her instead.
“The more the merrier is what I say,” says the RNC pollster.p> AL’S LITTLE DARLINGS br> This week is
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