In another sign that control of the Senate may not be decided on Nov. 4, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has made a big ad reservation to support Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) in a December runoff.
The more than $2 million reservation, first reported by The New York Times, was made on Friday. Landrieu is facing a challenge from Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy and tea party favorite Rob Maness, as well as a smattering of lesser-known candidates, in the state's nonpartisan primary Nov. 4. However, if no candidate gets more than 50 percent of the vote, the race proceeds to a runoff on Dec. 6.
It is that scenario that the DSCC appears to be banking on with the airtime buy.
“Mary Landrieu will have the resources she needs to win in November or in December if necessary,” DSCC spokesman Matt Canter told the paper.
Though political analysts favor Cassidy this year, especially in the event of a runoff, they can't count out Landrieu, who narrowly won runoff elections in 1996 and 2002. In a runoff, without two Republicans to split the conservative vote, the three-term senator would need high turnout in New Orleans -- where her brother serves as the mayor -- and the support of some crossover voters. HuffPost Pollster, which combines all publicly available polling data, shows Cassidy leading Landrieu in a head-to-head matchup.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee, Freedom Partners, Ending Spending Action Fund and the National Rifle Association have already reserved more than $6 million in support of Cassidy, in case of a runoff.
Georgia could be another state where the race extends beyond Election Day. The Peach State also dictates that a runoff must occur if no candidate receives at least 50 percent of the vote on Nov. 4. Under that scenario, the 114th Congress would begin just before a Jan. 6 runoff, likely between Republican businessman David Perdue and Democratic nonprofit executive Michelle Nunn.