For Louisiana, Election Day is just the beginning. For Mary Landrieu, it might be the beginning of the end.
Landrieu and Rep. Bill Cassidy both fell short of the 50 percent needed to win in the state's unusual "jungle primary" system. As the top vote-getters, they now advance to a Dec. 6 runoff—a one-month face-off sure to draw some of the country's biggest donors to the only show left in town.
We all knew this was coming. Louisiana's changing politics, along with many other Southern states this cycle, has made Landrieu's race a prime pickup opportunity for Republicans. Cassidy has led many of the pre-primary polls pitting him head-to-head with Landrieu. But in Louisiana's primary system, multiple candidates from the same party can compete in the Election Day race, and much of Cassidy's support was split with tea-party favorite retired Lt. Col. Rob Maness.
Already, more than $10 million in post-Election Day airtime has been reserved by party committees and outside groups in Louisiana. That's on top of the $40 million already spent.
But unlike other races where competing outside groups have helped keep spending near parity, Landrieu will be going at this without the help of some of her party's biggest allies. Top-spending green groups, as well as several women's-health-focused groups known for their epic fundraising abilities, have said they won't be coming to Landrieu's aid this November, even if the Senate majority is at stake.