BATON ROUGE, La. — There are some wild and crazy people in there.
That's what a campaign staffer warned Democratic Sen. Mary L. Landrieu as she eyed an opening to the Parade Grounds in the center of Louisiana State University, where football fans began setting up intricate tailgate parties campus-wide 24 hours before the Saturday night game.
Landrieu had already been working the campus with a fury for an hour, flanked by an army of volunteers in navy "I'm With Mary" t-shirts and handing out Landrieu for Senate stickers.
"Let's do it," responded Landrieu, who is one of the cycle's most vulnerable senators as she seeks a fourth term. After running into a family friend, Landrieu made her way across a portion of the expansive field to a tent of welcoming fans, who quickly asked her to do a keg stand. She declined, but agreed to hold the spigot for someone else, who gripped the metal keg as others held his legs in the air.
"They tried to get me to do it," Landrieu told CQ Roll Call immediately after. "His father was there, so I felt OK about it."
LSU fans take tailgating to another level. Tents were required for a day that felt like midsummer, and under them were often leather couches, tables set up with full bars and big screen TVs powered by generators and wired to satellite boxes.
Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy, who is aiming to unseat Landrieu, dropped by campus an hour later to shake hands and pass out fliers. Both are pushing for votes ahead of the Nov. 4 jungle primary, in which Landrieu hopes to get a majority of the vote and win re-election outright and Cassidy is working to ensure they both move on to the Dec. 6 runoff.
The race is rated a Tossup by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.
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