Mary Landrieu and Bill Cassidy ready for the last Senate debate of the year

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — As Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu readies for the only debate she’ll get against Republican front-runner Bill Cassidy, early voting data shows long odds for her re-election.

More than 24,000 fewer people cast ballots early for Saturday’s runoff election than in advance of the Nov. 4 primary. And there were more white and Republican voters than there were last month, when Landrieu got only 42 percent support.

The Democratic incumbent needs strong turnout from black voters and improved support from white voters. But if early voting is a strong indication, black voter interest has dropped.

In the latest weeklong early voting period, only 28 percent of voters were black, though they make up 31 percent of Louisiana’s registered voters.

Landrieu and Cassidy face off Monday night in the only runoff debate.

Check local listings for debate coverage.