Landrieu, Cassidy neck-and-neck in poll

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) is neck-and-neck with her main Republican challenger, Rep. Bill Cassidy (La.), in a new Democratic poll of the Louisiana Senate race.

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The automated survey, from Democratic firm Public Policy Polling, gives Landrieu 45 percent support to Cassidy’s 44 percent support among voters in a head-to-head matchup, the likeliest outcome of the race.

That’s a significant drop for Landrieu since October, when she held a 7-point lead in the same poll.

In Louisiana, all candidates, regardless of party, are included on the initial primary ballot. If no candidate takes 50 percent support, the top two vote-getters head to a runoff. In a four-way matchup, including the other two Republicans in the race, Landrieu takes just 43 percent and Cassidy comes in second with 25 percent support.

The other two Republican candidates, state Rep. Paul Hollis and retired Air Force colonel Rob Maness, fare slightly worse against Landrieu in head-to-head matchups, but still keep her lead down to single digits, despite the fact that more than two-thirds of voters don't have an opinion about them.

Democrats have long been expecting a tough race for Landrieu, one of four top Republican targets up for reelection in states Mitt Romney won in 2012.

But perhaps more troubling for the party is the steep decline in approval Landrieu has seen since August, over which time she’s been pummeled by more than $2 million in advertising from an outside conservative group focused on ObamaCare. Fifty-three percent of respondents in the new poll oppose the healthcare law.

The last time PPP tested her job approval in the state in August, she was above-water, with 46 percent of respondents rating her positively. Now, 52 percent disapprove of the job she’s doing, nearly even with the 53 percent disapproval rating Obama has in the state.

But more people in Louisiana are happy with President Obama’s job performance than Landrieu’s. Thirty-nine percent of respondents approve of the job he’s done, while only 37 percent approve of how she’s doing in office. Eleven percent are unsure about the senator.

Cassidy, for his part, is still unknown by half of those polled, and seen slightly more negatively than positively.

The survey was conducted among 635 Louisiana voters from Feb. 6-9, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.