GOP Works on Voter Interest in La. Runoff

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -

Republican Senate candidate Bill Cassidy cast an early ballot Tuesday, seeking to draw renewed attention to a race that has fallen off newspaper front pages and away from people’s minds.

Cassidy is the front-runner in the race against Democratic incumbent Mary Landrieu, and he’s hoping to maintain that position with a series of high-profile visits from GOP heavyweights in advance of the Dec. 6 election.

Louisiana’s last-in-the-nation Senate race won’t decide party control of the Senate, which Republicans grabbed two weeks ago for the first time in eight years. But Cassidy said voters still should view it as a way to show their displeasure with President Barack Obama’s policies and continue the Republican surge in the midterm election cycle.

“This is Louisiana’s chance to put an exclamation mark behind what the rest of the country has said,” the GOP congressman said before early voting, with his daughter in tow.

Landrieu is trying to gain ground with attack ads against Cassidy, but she faces an uphill climb to a fourth term. Fifty-six percent of voters chose one of the Republican candidates in the Nov. 4 open primary, and Landrieu is the last Democratic statewide elected official still standing in a state trending more Republican each election cycle.

The Democratic senator has hit Cassidy with ads that question his fitness for office, show him stumbling over words, challenge budget cuts he’s supported and describe his opposition to a minimum wage hike and equal pay legislation.

In response, Cassidy continues to tie Landrieu to the unpopular president.