The latest Southern Media Opinion and Research poll shows that three-term Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu still has a 56-percent approval rating in Louisiana, but that has not stopped Republican Congressman Bill Cassidy from throwing his name into the ring to try to defeat Landrieu in next year's Senate race.

Cassidy is kicking off his campaign today with campaign stops in Jefferson and St. Tammany parishes.

The Baton Rouge doctor was first elected to Congress in 2008, and is the first Republican to declare his intention to run for Landrieu's Senate seat.  Southern Media Opinion and Research poll director Bernie Pinsonat says Cassidy likely will not be the only Republican candidate to challenge Landrieu.

Cassidy's campaign strategy at this point is to tie Landrieu to President Barack Obama.  Cassidy says the President is out of step with the state and what people in Louisiana wants.

Pinsonat says his survey shows that 56-percent of the respondents were less likely to vote for Landrieu because of her support for President Obama's health care reform.