Mary Landrieu’s defeat was one of a number of blows that the Democrats suffered in Louisiana this year. They are now just about extinct in the state:
Landrieu was the last statewide elected Democrat holding office in Louisiana. Republicans now control both U.S. Senate seats, five of six congressional districts, the Governor’s Office, the state Senate, the state House of Representatives, and all other statewide elected offices.
Democrats are in equally bad shape across the Deep South, where Republicans now control every Senate seat, every governorship, and every legislative body. You might think this would cause Louisiana Democrats to reconsider what they are doing. Or possibly switch parties. But no: Louisiana’s Democratic Party chairwoman Karen Carter-Peterson thinks she knows what the problem is:
In a column on the Cenlamar website, Carter-Peterson wrote that while the party enjoyed some success in this year’s election cycle, the Kochs and Fox News kept the party from selling it’s [sic] message of working for Louisianans.
“But the fact of the matter is this — the non-stop, onslaught of negative and inflammatory Koch Brothers ads, added to the toxic media environment driven by Fox News and the right-wing echo chamber, have made it challenging for us to drive out our message to voters,” Carter-Peterson wrote.
What Ms. Carter-Peterson means by a “toxic media environment” is, in fact, a competitive media environment. The Democrats control CBS, NBC, ABC, MSNBC and CNN. But Fox creates diversity, something the Democrats just can’t stand. The same thing is true with regard to campaign spending. Ms. Carter-Peterson attributes the Democrats’ failures to two men, Charles and David Koch. But one thing the Democrats never lack for is cash. As the linked column points out:
Charles and David Koch’s political action committee, Americans for Prosperity, spent about $2 million in ads against Landrieu, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. It spent the fourth-most amount of money of any outside group behind the pro-Landrieu group Patriot Majority USA at about $3 million, pro-Landrieu group Senate Majority PAC at about $2.4 million, and pro-Cassidy group Crossroads USA at $2.1 million.
Landrieu’s campaign spent about $16.8 million compared to $11 million spent by Cassidy.
Again, the Democrats’ real complaint is that they don’t have a monopoly. Republicans can get their messages out too. Which these days, at least in the South, is all it takes.