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Incumbency Isn’t Worth Much Anymore

On Saturday, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) lost her re-election bid to Republican Bill Cassidy in the run off in Louisiana. Cassidy won with an impressive 55.9 percent of the vote while Landrieu got 44.1 percent.

Landrieu had held the seat since 1997. She previously survived several tough elections, but she couldn’t survive the true nationalization of our federal politics.

Landrieu didn’t lose because of a scandal, a major gaffe, or a badly run campaign. She lost simply because she was a Democrat in what is a Republican state.

Like almost every other Senate race this year, the election over the weekend closely mirrored the results from 2012. Mitt Romney received 57.8 percent of the vote in Louisiana and President Obama got only 40.6 percent.

Landrieu’s long incumbency and history of bring home the bacon did help her do better than expected, but it was worth only a few extra percentage points. Incumbency isn’t completely worthless, but it is now clearly secondary to big national political trends.

It took a while, but the vast majority of the voting public has finally come to the rather logical conclusion that if they want a Republican President they should probably also prefer a Republican Congress, and if they want a Democratic President they would most likely also want a Democratic Congress.

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Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at