Political analysts break down Cassidy's win over Landrieu

Political analysts break down Cassidy's win over Landrieu

Emerging victorious, as expected by many political analysts, Bill Cassidy celebrated with supporters in Baton Rouge Saturday, marking a new era for Louisiana's representation in the US Senate.

Tulane Political Analyst Mike Sherman said Landrieu, like many other Democrats, fell to a wildly successful Republican strategy: make the election about President Barack Obama.

"Last month, folks said there was a Republican wave across the country. Well, down here in Louisiana, it was like a tidal wave. It was a monsoon," Sherman said. "This was a bad year to be a Democrat, across the country, but particularly in the Deep South. Even an incumbent like Mary Landrieu, 18 years (in office), raised plenty of money -- $20 million -- not enough to combat the opposition to the President and his party."

Cassidy repeatedly drove that message for weeks, said Xavier University pollster and political analyst Silas Lee, leaving Landrieu with a tall deck stacked against her.

"Considering the social environment and the political environment, it was very tough for (Landrieu) to win in a very conservative state that's, over the past years, become a little more conservative," Lee said. "Six years ago, she was able to build a coalition and she was able to identify and get visible support from elected Republicans. That did not occur this time around."

While conceding the race Saturday, Landrieu expressed pride in her work.

"It has been a joy. The joy is in the journey and the satisfaction and the reward is in the fight," she said.

"We have so much to be proud of -- a record of courage, honesty and integrity, and delivering for this state when it mattered the most in some of our darkest hours, Katrina, Rita, Gustav, Ike and the BP oil spill."

Now, Cassidy takes the reigns and vows to move forward.

While celebrating the win with supporters Saturday, he also reached out to Landrieu backers.

"My message to (Landrieu supporters) is, I don't care that you voted for Senator Landrieu. I am here to serve you too. We can unite as a state and as a country," Cassidy said.

Copyright 2014 WVUE. All rights reserved.