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Senate candidates' strategies differ in final days of campaign


Republican U.S. Senate Candidate Bill Cassidy, sitting on a lead, seems to be trying to run out the clock. Meanwhile, incumbent Democrat Mary Landrieu pushes one primary storyline in the final days of the race.

In Kenner Thursday morning, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus fired up party staff members at a get-out-the-vote rally.

"Are you guys ready to finish the job?" Priebus asked a fired up room.

The Landrieu camp has noted the absence of one Republican: the candidate. Landrieu aides slammed Cassidy for being virtually absent from the campaign trail in the last couple of weeks.

"He's not a stealth candidate," said Louisiana Republican Party Chairman Roger Villere. "He's doing everything he needs to do. He's answering questions when he's available."

Tulane political analyst Mike Sherman calls the Cassidy tactic "not only unusual, but shocking."

Sherman said it is practically unheard of for a candidate to stop making appearances in the final days of the campaign. However, Sherman believes the Cassidy strategy of running as a generic Republican opposed to Barack Obama has worked so far.

"He is not trying to convince voters about his personal characteristics, his charisma or any personal beliefs that make him a better fit for the job," Sherman said. "He's telling voters, 'Vote for me. I'm the Republican.'"

The Landrieu camp ties Cassidy's virtual absence at events to questions raised about whether the Baton Rouge congressman performed the part-time work as an LSU doctor for which he was paid.

"I'm proud of the work that I've done at LSU, doing a liver biopsy in the morning and flying to D.C. and voting in the evening," Cassidy said during Monday night's debate on FOX 8.

On her Twitter page, Landrieu posted pictures of Cassidy time sheets, including one from July 23, 2013, showing Cassidy logged 3.5 hours despite an early afternoon vote on the House floor.

Landrieu also insists signatures on various time sheets don't match.

"That's a blatant lie," Landrieu said to Cassidy Monday night. "The sheets that we have, that have been given out to the public - your signature is not on them."

Since no independent public opinion polls have been released in the past couple of weeks, there's no way to know whether the issue is sticking with voters.

Tulane's Sherman said this late in the game, it's very difficult for candidates to change a voter's mind.

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