November 23, 2002
DAY OF INFAMY:High Stakes Fuel Ferocity in Louisiana Senate Duel (KATHARINE Q. SEELYE, November 23, 2002, NY Times)
On their most optimistic days, the Democrats see a Landrieu victory as the first step toward building the party's way back to the majority. But her struggle epitomizes the difficulties the party faces against a popular wartime president at a time when its leaders seem to be searching for a message. At the moment, Ms. Landrieu is slipping in the polls.
To appeal to Louisiana's relatively conservative voters, Ms. Landrieu has drawn attention to her support for President Bush - she has voted with him 75 percent of the time, including on his tax cut - but at the cost of leaving her party's core voters cold. Blacks, whose support she needs, are reported to be divided over her candidacy.
Ms. Landrieu captured the endorsement of Cleo Fields, an important black state representative who ran for governor in 1995 and maintains a strong political organization. But he has been concerned that her tilt toward the Republicans has alienated blacks. "I feel one Republican Party is enough," he said. "Two is almost unconstitutional." [...]
Mr. Breaux said President Bill Clinton, who is popular with black voters, would be used at the end of the campaign to tape telephone calls to targeted voters. But he said it was too risky to bring Mr. Clinton into the state, even though he won it twice, because he might energize Republicans against Ms. Landrieu.
Though she still trails by significant margins, one would have to think this is a race Ms Terrell can win. Posted by Orrin Judd at November 23, 2002 6:49 AM