Unfortunately, unlike the rest of the nation that has moved on from the flood of 2016 campaign commercials, Louisiana is still suffering! This coming Saturday, citizens of the Pelican state will go to the polls and decide who will represent them in a couple congressional seats and a Senate seat. In Louisiana, all candidates from both parties run together in the initial election on November 8 and the top two vote getters advance to the runoff, regardless of party, if no one crosses the 50% mark.
Republicans are looking to retain the seat of Senator David Vitter, who decided not to run for re-election after his astounding defeat to Democrat John Bel Edwards in the race for governor in 2015. While he did not have to give up his seat, the resounding loss led him to believe that he would have a hard time being re-elected. Due to the nature of the election, 24 candidates jumped at the opportunity to replace Vitter, including seven Democrats and eight Republicans.
The top two vote getters were Republican state Treasurer John Kennedy and Democratic Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell. Kennedy benefitted from running as an outsider and against the Republican establishment where he defeated two sitting Republican congressman, Representatives Charles Boustany and John Fleming. Kennedy is the heavy favorite versus Campbell in the runoff as Kennedy has gotten the support of President-elect Donald Trump, who won the state by 20 points. Nationally, the Democratic committees who usually would get involved in such a race are staying out of it as they believe it is a lost cause. Democrats would need to take out a loan to help Campbell and their focus now is in building up their coffers for 2018 where they will be defending 25 of the 33 seats up in the cycle.
Even though Campbell has pulled even on fundraising numbers he is behind 52-38% in the latest poll and Kennedy has several super PACs who are supporting his campaign. This should be a Kennedy win and will help Republicans with their slight Senate majority heading into the next Congress, which will be 52-48, down from 54-46 in 2016.
In Louisiana's 3rd District, two Republicans will face off against each other, Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle and retired police Captain Clay Higgins, for the seat previously held by Representative Charles Boustany. The election featured a dozen candidates with Angle receiving 28.6% of the vote compared to Higgins’ 26.5%. The race will be a close one between Higgins, who is a quasi-internet sensation with his local Crime Stoppers television show, and Angelle, who is perceived as the establishment candidate. There is a divide in gender between Angelle and Higgins due to Higgins’ past family issues. Angelle is up by 10 points among women while Higgins is up by three points with men.
Lastly, Louisiana's 4th District may have another freedom caucus member representing them. Even though he finished second for the seat previously held by Representative John Fleming, Republican Mike Johnson is the favorite in the race after receiving 25% of the vote where he fought between four other Republican candidates. Democrat Marshall Jones finished in first as the only Democrat in the field. This district is heavily Republican so this should be a relatively easy win for constitutional law Attorney Mike Johnson.
Did You Know?
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