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Rep. Bill Cassidy to challenge Sen. Mary Landrieu

Rep. Bill Cassidy, a Baton Rouge doctor elected to Congress in 2008, is set to announce his candidacy for the Senate. He will become the first major Republican challenger to Sen. Mary Landrieu.

As a Democratic Senator from a Red State, Landrieu is inherently vulnerable. However, according to a PPP poll from February, she currently leads all prospective Republican challengers.

Her lead over Cassidy in the PPP poll was 10 points (50-40). That’s a larger lead than Landrieu had over most prospective challengers. But this probably reflects the fact that Cassidy isn’t yet well known state-wide. Only 43 percent of those polled had an opinion of him.

More significant, I imagine, is the fact that Landrieu’s approval rating is above water. 47 percent of those surveyed by PPP viewed her favorably; 45 percent who viewed her unfavorably.

Landrieu’s toughest prospective opponent, according to PPP, is Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne. Landrieu ran only 3 points ahead of him, 46-43.

Landrieu provided the key vote that brought us Obamacare (the Louisiana Purchase and all that). As that monstrosity is implemented over the next year and a half — to the extent implementation occurs — Landrieu’s popularity may hinge to an appreciable degree on how Louisiana perceives Obamacare.

The man for whom Obamacare is named lost Louisiana by 17 points in last year’s presidential election.

Dr. Cassidy is the author of a different kind of health care. He founded a free community health-care clinic for working people who lack insurance.

Via Daniel Halper at the Weekly Standard.

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