Less than a month before the November election, Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu has replaced her campaign manager, Adam Sullivan. Sullivan will stay on as an “advisor” to the campaign.
The new campaign manager is Ryan Berni who ran the successful re-election campaign of Mayor Mitch Landrieu, the Senator’s brother. Berni is a protege of James Carville.
Landrieu is also beefing up her campaign team by adding Norma Jane Sabiston, her former chief of staff and a key player in her three previous Senate races. In addition, two of her top Senate staffers are taking leave from their Capitol Hill positions to join the campaign.
The shakeup obviously reflects the trouble Landrieu is in. Polls now consistently show her trailing Republican Bill Cassidy. In the Real Clear Politics average, she is 5.6 points behind.
However, Cassidy may not reach 50 percent on Election Day (the RCP average has him at 48 percent). In that case, there will be a runoff. Thus, Landrieu’s new team may well have two months, rather than one, to try to turn things around.
A Louisiana runoff would be quite a spectacle if control of the Senate hinged on the outcome. In that event, though, Landrieu’s prospects would probably take a hit.
In conservative, anti-Obama Louisiana, many swing voters who may be inclined to favor the Senator, other things being equal, would have to think long and hard about voting for her if meant enabling the Democrats to retain control of the Senate.