Democratic incumbent: Mary Landrieu
Republican candidate: John Kennedy
Landrieu, 52, has been a senator since 1997. She had previously been a state legislator and the state treasurer. Her father Moon Landrieu was mayor of New Orleans, and was later appointed by President Carter to be Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Her brother Mitch Landrieu is lieutenant governor of Louisiana.
Kennedy, 56, is the state treasurer, a post to which he was originally elected as a Democrat. He switched to the Republican Party in 2007.
Real Clear Politics reports recent polls that indicate a lead as large as 17 points for Landrieu. Her lead has fluctuated, and was smaller during the summer. Right now, she looks to be in a good position.
Here is a report in The Daily Advertiser, of Lafayette, Louisiana, which, for one thing, describes the race as being tighter than some polls indicate. Also, it purports to show that Landrieu, a typically moderate southern Democrat, and Kennedy, until recently a Democrat himself, are not all that far apart on issues.
The state's junior senator, David Vitter, is the only Republican to represent Louisiana in the upper house since Reconstruction.