Louisiana Saturday Night Election, Media Thinks Trump is Running

Grant Boone
November 18, 2019

Edwards won 51.3 percent of the vote a tight race against Eddie Rispone, whom President Donald Trump endorsed last week. The election will test Trump's clout with red state voters as he looks to give Rispone a last-minute boost to put a Republican in the governor's mansion in a state he won by 20 points in 2016.

John Bel Edwards held a narrow lead over Republican challenger Eddie Rispone in Saturday's gubernatorial runoff, with more than 91 percent of the state's precincts reporting.

The president's intense attention motivated not only conservative Republicans, but also powered a surge in anti-Trump and black voter turnout that helped Edwards.

Coming after a defeat in the Kentucky governor's race and sizable losses in Virginia's legislative races, the Louisiana result seems certain to rattle Republicans heading into the 2020 presidential election. "It's been a campaign fairly free of policy proposals and focused mostly on his allegiance to Donald Trump and banking on the fact that Louisiana is a red state", Pearson Cross, political science professor at University of Louisiana in Lafayette, said in a telephone interview.

While the fight to restore balance to the state's finances defined the first half of Gov. Edwards' tenure, the second half was defined by ongoing battles sprung in the wake of the Trump administration.

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Louisiana was the third and final state to vote on its governor after Edwards missed winning re-election in the October primary, triggering a run-off.

"They talk about I'm some sort of a radical liberal". He had ties to the unpopular former Gov. Bobby Jindal, started with little name recognition and offered few details about his agenda. Rispone says he's like Trump, calling himself a "conservative outsider" whose business acumen will help solve Louisiana's problems. "We had over 700,000 people in Louisiana who really want something better, something different", Rispone said. Since the Democratic candidates aren't giving the media much hope for 2020, the media is anxious for signs that Trump's popularity is declining. 'That hasn't changed, and that´s the way we've been governing'. A bipartisan criminal sentencing law rewrite he championed ended Louisiana's tenure as the nation's top jailer.

More than 480,000 voters opted to cast their ballots early, surpassing the primary's early vote total by over 100,000, according to the Monroe News Star. Rispone got 27% of the vote, Republican Ralph Abraham got 24%, and Republican Patrick Landry got 1%.

Rispone poured more than $12 million of his own money into the race. He touts cutting taxes and state government spending while in office, and working across party lines.

"We have nothing to be ashamed of".

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