2008 United States Senate election in Louisiana

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Mary Landrieu, official photo portrait, 2007.jpg
John Neely Kennedy official portrait.jpg
Nominee Mary Landrieu John Kennedy
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 988,298 867,177
Percentage 52.1% 45.7%

Louisiana Senate Election Results by County, 2008.svg
Parish results
Landrieu:      40-50%      50–60%      60–70%      70–80%      80–90%
Kennedy:      40–50%      50–60%      60–70%      70–80%

U.S. senator before election

Mary Landrieu
Democratic

Elected U.S. Senator

Mary Landrieu
Democratic

The 2008 United States Senate election in Louisiana was held on November 4, 2008. This was the first time since the 1970s that Louisiana used primaries for federal races. Incumbent Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu won reelection to a third term, defeating Republican (and former Democrat) John Kennedy. Despite being forecast as one of the most vulnerable Senate Democrats during 2008, Landrieu won a comfortable victory of 6.4 percentage points due to the national Democratic lean.

Landrieu had received praise and wide publicity for her advocacy after Hurricane Katrina, particularly during hearings regarding FEMA's response to the disaster. Kennedy had switched parties in 2007, just one year before the election, garnering allegations of being a political opportunist.[1] Kennedy would go on to win the state's other U.S. Senate seat in 2016. As of 2022, this was the last time that the Democrats won a U.S. Senate election in Louisiana.[citation needed]

Background

Landrieu's increased vulnerability was supposed to be the result of a significant drop in the state's African-American population after Hurricane Katrina, especially in Landrieu's home city of New Orleans. Louisiana also elected a Republican senator in 2004 and President Bush carried the state twice, in 2004 with 58 percent of the vote. Also, Republican Congressman Bobby Jindal won the 2007 gubernatorial election with 54 percent of the vote. After a continued backslide in support for the Democrats, Landrieu would go on to lose her seat by 12 points in 2014 to Bill Cassidy.

Major candidates

Democratic

Republican

General election

Predictions

Source Ranking As of
The Cook Political Report[2] Lean D October 23, 2008
CQ Politics[3] Lean D October 31, 2008
Rothenberg Political Report[4] Lean D November 2, 2008
Real Clear Politics[5] Lean D October 23, 2008

Polling

Poll Source Dates administered Mary
Landrieu (D)
John
Kennedy (R)
Rasmussen Reports October 21, 2008 53% 43%
Rasmussen Reports September 25, 2008 54% 41%
Rasmussen Reports August 17, 2008 56% 39%
Rasmussen Reports July 9, 2008 49% 44%
Southern Media & Opinion Research July 1, 2008 46% 40%
Rasmussen Reports May 28, 2008 47% 44%
Southern Media & Opinion Research March 26 – April 9, 2008 50% 38%
Survey USA December 6–10, 2007 46% 42%

Results

Though she was considered one of the most vulnerable incumbent senators in 2008, Landrieu won reelection by a margin of 121,121 votes and 6.39%, over-performing Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama in the state by more than 12 percentage points.

2008 United States Senate election in Louisiana
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Mary Landrieu (incumbent) 988,298 52.11% +0.41%
Republican John Kennedy 867,177 45.72% -2.58%
Libertarian Richard Fontanesi 18,590 0.98% n/a
Independent Jay Patel 13,729 0.72% n/a
Independent Robert Stewart 8,780 0.46% n/a
Majority 121,121 6.39% +2.99
Turnout 1,896,574 100.0%
Democratic hold Swing

See also

References

  1. ^ Scott, Robert (April 27, 2014). "Treasurer bolts to GOP | NOLA.com". Archived from the original on April 27, 2014. Retrieved March 15, 2021.
  2. ^ "2008 Senate Race ratings for October 23, 2008". The Cook Political Report. Retrieved April 1, 2021.
  3. ^ Race Ratings Chart: Senate Archived October 28, 2010, at the Wayback Machine CQ Politics
  4. ^ "2008 Senate ratings". Inside Elections. Retrieved April 1, 2021.
  5. ^ "2008 RCP Averages & Senate Results". Real Clear Politics. Retrieved August 31, 2021.