Senate candidates prepare for lone debate of run-off election - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

Senate candidates prepare for lone debate of run-off election

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With Election Day less than a week away, Louisiana's two Senate candidates prepare for the only debate during the run-off, which will take place Monday night on FOX 8.

The final week before an election is typically crunch time for any candidate. For Bill Cassidy and Mary Landrieu, the week will also include a high stakes debate.

“This will be it, one shot. [Tonight] all the viewers will be watching. Will there be a major gaffe? Will something be said that changes the fundamentals of this election?” said Tulane political analyst Mike Sherman.

The night of the congressional election, on November 4, Senator Landrieu challenged Congressman Cassidy to six different debates. Monday night's appearance is the only one he committed to.

Sherman explains, “He's running as the generic Republican, not necessarily on his own characteristics and record so for him, getting in many debates doesn't play to the strategy his campaign is utilizing.”

Landrieu, according to Sherman, is running more on her record, touting her accomplishments while in the Senate over the past 18 years and has been trying to get Cassidy to talk about more than just President Obama. But Sherman says that plan didn't work. Which is why he believes so much is riding on this lone debate.

Right now, most polls show Cassidy winning Saturday's run-off election. Sherman says in order for Landrieu to hold onto her seat and pull out a win, she'll need 30 percent of the white vote and a 30 percent participation rate from African American voters. But he points to a wildcard, the Tea Party supporters. “Landrieu and Cassidy drove out even in the last election. What's going to happen to these Maness voters? Are they going to come out and vote the Republican stripes or are they so disappointed that there isn't a candidate that represents their views, are they going to stay home this Saturday and watch college football?” Sherman said.

Both candidates have one last prime time shot at winning over voters. It's a debate which Mike Sherman says, every voter, should be watching.

The debate will air on FOX 8 at 7 p.m. Monday.

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