Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu leads two Republican challengers in the closely-watched U.S. Senate race in Louisiana but fails to crack the 50 percent barrier that would head off an expensive, high-stakes runoff, according to a new poll.
Ms. Landrieu leads GOP Rep. Bill Cassidy, 43 percent to 40 percent, among likely voters, with Republican Rob Maness taking nine percent of the vote in the CNN/ORC poll.
But if no candidate crosses 50 percent the contest would head to a December runoff. In a head-to-head would-be matchup there, Mr. Cassidy leads Ms. Landrieu 50 percent to 47 percent among likely voters.
With Democrats clinging to a tenuous 55-45 majority in the Senate, that means control of the chamber might not be determined until well after the November elections if the deciding number hinges on the race in Louisiana.
The poll was conducted Sept. 22-25 and the margin of sampling error for likely voters is plus or minus four percentage points.