Landrieu up 10 points in Louisiana Senate poll

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) is in a solid position for reelection according to a new poll that contradicts two recent GOP polls that showed her locked in a tight fight for reelection.

In the survey, conducted by Democratic firm Public Policy Polling, the current Senate field — which includes Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and conservative GOP challenger Rob Maness (R) — would lead to a runoff, and Landrieu would easily defeat Cassidy, her likeliest challenger in the runoff.

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In Louisiana, all candidates are listed on the primary ballot and voters can back whomever they want, regardless of party. If no candidate breaks 50 percent support, the top-two vote-getters head to a runoff.

Against Cassidy and Maness, Landrieu takes only 48 percent support to Cassidy's 24 percent support and Maness' 5 percent support. Twenty-three percent remain undecided in such a matchup.

Against Cassidy, the likeliest GOP contender to advance in a runoff, Landrieu takes 50 percent support to his 40 percent.

The poll indicates Landrieu is drawing strong crossover support, with nearly a quarter of Republicans — 23 percent — backing her against Cassidy. Twenty-three percent of Republicans say they approve of her job performance.

But there's room for a Republican to grow.

Voters overall are split on whether they approve of Landrieu's job performance, with 46 percent saying they approve while 43 percent disapprove. And President Obama is underwater in Louisiana, with a majority, 52 percent, saying they disapprove of his job performance.

That indicates the outcome of the race will hinge on whether Republicans can make the 2014 election a referendum of Obama's performance, rather than Landrieu's time in office.

Two GOP polls also out this week contradicted the PPP poll. Those surveys showed her either trailing Cassidy by 2 percentage points or beating him by 4 points.

National Republicans are certainly targeting the incumbent as one of the most vulnerable Democrats up in 2014. But she's also running with the knowledge she faces a tough path to reelection and has already amassed nearly $5 million cash on hand for the fight.

The PPP poll was conducted among 721 Louisiana voters from Aug. 16-19 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.