Via Washington Examiner
If Sen. Mary Landrieu loses her re-election bid this year, she might look back at the last few weeks as the turning point in her lengthy political career.
The Louisiana Democrat, who has repeatedly found a way to win in a predominantly red state, is stuck at the lowest point of her 2014 campaign.
The chairwoman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee has been on the defensive after it was revealed that she used official Senate dollars to pay for at least four flights to campaign-related events.
Even more directly, Landrieu was outraised in the last quarter by Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-La., and now finds herself with less cash on hand than the conservative doctor.
Landrieu has dismissed the brouhaha over her charter flights as a bookkeeping issue, but political insiders in the Bayou State say the self-inflicted wound has redefined the race.
“At first, I didn’t think it would be of any consequence, but it actually blew up and got a lot more publicity than I thought it would,” said Bernie Pinsonat, a Louisiana pollster who has worked for both Republicans and Democrats. “There’s a trend here. She can apologize all she wants, but it has clearly hurt her.”