Razor-thin margin separates Mary Landrieu, Bill Cassidy in latest U.S. Senate poll _lowres

Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., greets Senate candidate, Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-La., before their debate at Centenary College in Shreveport, La., Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Sen. Mary Landrieu and Rep. Bill Cassidy are neck-and-neck in the race to capture a U.S. Senate seat, according to a new poll released Monday by USA Today/Suffolk University.

The poll, conducted by Suffolk University, says 36 percent of survey participants pledged votes for Landrieu; 35 percent picked Cassidy. And 11 percent backed Tea Party candidate Col. Rob Maness.

Five other candidates listed on the Louisiana ballot are each polling at 1 percent or less, while 14 percent were undecided and 1 percent refused a response.

If the election requires a Dec. 6 runoff, 48 percent of polling participants picked Cassidy, and 41 percent picked Landrieu. The remaining 11 percent were undecided.

“Senator Mary Landrieu benefits from seven others splitting the anti-incumbency vote,” David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston, said in a news release. “But in a one-on-one scenario, she is vulnerable, not only because of her own disapproval ratings, but also because likely voters are venting frustration towards the president and his policies.”

Landrieu’s job disapproval was 54 percent, slightly better than President Barack Obama’s 60 percent disapproval rating. Overall, 62 percent of voters said that Obamacare was generally bad for Louisiana. Among those still undecided in the November election, Landrieu has a 60 percent unfavorable rating.

Fifty-nine percent of voters said they did not trust the federal government to handle the Ebola crisis. Respondents said that health care and jobs are the issues that most concern them.

Suffolk corralled 500 Louisiana voters for its poll, which has a +/- 4 percent margin of error.