Sources inside the state Democratic Party tell LaPolitics that a win in next year’s 6th Congressional District is “insurmountable”—as Jon Stewart of “The Daily Show” recently pointed out—and that focusing on U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu’s re-election is only half of the strategy for the 2014 cycle.
The other half can be found in the piney woods of north Louisiana, where Democrats are hoping they can pick off two GOP incumbents in the 4th and 5th congressional districts. It’s a tall order, to be certain, especially after the thrashing Democrats took in this month’s 5th District primary.
Party leaders have been fielding complaints in the primary’s wake that the field wasn’t cleared for a lead candidate in that race, which now has an all-Republican runoff, and that more wasn’t done to support the Dem contenders who did qualify.
For now, party leaders say they are refocusing efforts and implementing a “people first” game plan that will be driven by statistics and will seek to energize the party’s base. “This is not going to be the old Democratic Party where decisions are made in smoke-filled rooms,” said one official. “We are going to focus on data and numbers.”
That not only means capturing the seat that will be taken by a Republican next month in northeast Louisiana, but also bringing a fight to incumbent Congressman John Fleming, R-Minden, who Democrats targeted in 2012 before hitting a political brick wall.
While no names have surfaced as of yet, the party is keen on pointing out that Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover is term limited—even if he isn't necessarily the top choice of Dems in the region.
The endgame may be all about Landrieu, who will need to do well in north Louisiana for her expected win in voter-rich New Orleans proper to truly matter.