On the eve of the start of the three-day qualifying period for the November 4 elections, Republican challenger Bill Cassidy finds himself slightly ahead of Democratic incumbent Mary Landrieu in the polls and in fundraising in the U.S. Senate race.

Although Landrieu has raised more money than Cassidy for this election - $14 million compared to Cassidy's $8.6 million - Cassidy is slight ahead of Landrieu in cash available - $5.6 million compared to Landrieu's $5.5 million.

UNO Political Science Professor Ed Chervenak tells 99.5 WRNO the fundraising numbers are a plus for the Cassidy campaign because they show that campaign contributors view him as a viable candidate.

"Those people who have the resources, who donate the money, view him as a credible challenger, and the flip side being that they view Mary Landrieu as being vulnerable."

"Contributors are politically savvy individuals. They don't give money away just for the sake of it. Investing their money in this candidate, they feel he can win," Chervenak said.

Chervenak says at this point in the campaign the race is a tossup, and he expects it to stay close up to the primary in November, but ultimately decided in a runoff in December.