NEW ORLEANS -- In politics, the only poll that counts is the one taken on election day.
But, one year out, recent voter surveys in Louisiana show incumbent Mary Landrieu in another tough fight as she seeks a fourth term in the U.S. Senate.
"I think this is going to be a very close race," said Landrieu. It always is. I've run them before and look forward to running this one."
"It's easy to get distracted by things like that and lose sight of the fact that this is really about ideas, policy and the future of the United States and Louisiana," said Rep. Bill Cassidy, Landrieu's likely Republican challenger .
A survey taken by the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling shows Landrieu leading Cassidy by a 50 percent to 40 percent margin.
Two Republican surveys show a much closer race. The OnMessage, Inc. poll shows Landrieu leading Cassidy 45-41. The Harper Polling-Conservative Intel poll has Cassidy up 47-45.
"I'm a conservative alternative to someone who votes with the president 97 percent of the time," said Cassidy. "That's where we'll focus and that's where the battle will be fought and frankly that's why I think we'll win."
"I have never said anything other than this is going to be a tough race," said Landrieu. "I have all tough races. It's just the nature of this business today. But, I think my record speaks for itself and I'm proud of the work we've done together." Harper Polling also shows Tea Party aligned Republican Rob Maness from Madisonville at 41% to Landrieu's 47%. "I am encouraged by that," said Maness. "I think it shows clearly there's not clear front runner in the race. I also shows our campaign has been working very hard throughout the summer." The candidates have a long campaign ahead. The mid-term election will be held on November 4, 2014.