Landrieu turns to Stevie Wonder
© Greg Nash

Sen. Mary LandrieuMary Loretta LandrieuCongress needs to work to combat the poverty, abuse and neglect issues that children face Dems wrestle over how to vote on ‘Green New Deal’ Lobbying world MORE (D-La.) appears to be working to put the failure of a Keystone pipeline vote behind her and returning her focus to the campaign trail ahead of a runoff against Rep. Bill CassidyWilliam (Bill) Morgan CassidyI'm not a Nazi, I'm just a dude: What it's like to be the other Steve King Washington takes historic step forward on paid parental leave The 23 Republicans who opposed Trump-backed budget deal MORE (R-La.).


Landrieu spent the first two weeks after Election Day cobbling together a coalition to pass a bill authorizing the pipeline. But that fell one vote short of a filibuster-proof majority late Tuesday.

By Wednesday morning, her campaign had announced new events that focus more specifically on Louisiana voters.

On Saturday, Democratic leaders from Louisiana and some members of Congress, including Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.), and Louisiana Democratic Party Chairwoman Karen Carter Peterson will headline “Meet Me At the Polls” events across the state aimed at turning out early Democratic voters in the final Senate race of the 2014 midterms.

Booker voted against the pipeline on Tuesday.

“We will never stop fighting to raise the minimum wage, ensure we have quality schools for our children, or provide affordable healthcare to all working families,” Landrieu said in a statement. “This weekend, thousands of Louisianians will join our campaign by voting early and, together, we will continue to fight so every Louisiana family has the opportunity to build a prosperous future.”

In addition, musician Stevie Wonder, whom the Landrieu campaign calls a “longtime friend and supporter,” will headline a fundraiser for the Louisiana Democrat on Dec. 1 in New Orleans. Landrieu and Cassidy are scheduled to have their only debate of the runoff cycle on that day.

These events are a marked shift in Landrieu’s focus from the high-stakes Keystone gambit that took up the bulk of her time during the critical first two weeks of the runoff.

In contrast, support from national conservatives helped Cassidy split his time between Keystone and Louisiana campaigning.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) and former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin (R) have all turned out at unity rallies supporting Cassidy. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) plans to attend the next unity rally, and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) will fundraise on Cassidy’s behalf at a National Republican Senatorial Campaign event on Dec. 1.

House Republicans, meanwhile, helped Cassidy minimize any advantage Landrieu might have gained from Keystone’s passage in the Senate by passing the Keystone bill he sponsored last week.

Landrieu’s campaign faces an uphill battle in these last weeks before the runoff. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee pulled the $2 million it had committed to the Louisiana runoff on Dec. 6, leaving Landrieu massively outgunned on the airwaves in the state.

Polling has been sparse in the runoff period, but an internal Cassidy poll shows him with a 16-point lead over Landrieu. The RealClearPolitics average of polls taken before Nov. 4 shows a 5-point lead for Cassidy.