Since I don’t think it was discussed here over the weekend, I’ll note in passing Mary Landrieu’s loss to Bill Cassidy in a “jungle primary” runoff on Saturday. This was predicted by just about everybody. Cassidy’s 56-44 winning margin actually undershot what the polls were showing (the RCP polling averages had the race at 57-37, a 20-point margin as compared to the actual just-under-twelve-point margin).
The slow but steady political transformation of Louisiana probably doomed Landrieu from the beginning, but if not, the especially depressed and depressing midterm turnout patterns, aggravated by a post-midterm runoff, made the outcome inevitable. And while I understand Landrieu’s bitterness at the DSCC for not helping her after November 4, it’s very unlikely it mattered in the end.
So Louisiana was just a denouement, but we’re hearing a fresh round of lusty cries of triumphalism. National Review‘s Kevin Williamson even used it to recapitulate his revisionist history of civil rights and the parties in the South. Anybody who hadn’t already written a “death of the southern Democrats” piece probably churned one out for low-information readers.
But we can finally move on to the next cycle, and enjoy the fact that Republicans who believe their 2014 win will just be extended in 2016 will almost certainly get the same surprise they got when 2012 turned out to be very different from 2010.