Democrats’ best bet in the Deep South: Re-electing Gov. John Bel Edwards of Louisiana
Want to freak out Republicans in the South in the middle of impeachment? Re-elect a Democrat in Louisiana.
Important Louisiana Voting Information
Deadline to request an absentee ballot: 11/12
Absentee vote in-person dates: Sat, 11/2 - Sat, 11/9
E-Day: Sat, 11/16. Absentee ballots must be in the day before
Photo ID Required: Yes. LA ID required.
On paper, Democrats have no chance in Louisiana. Trump won the state by a massive twenty points. To make matters worse for Democrats, he is quite popular in the state compared to the rest of the country. Louisiana has a PVI of R+11, or votes eleven points more Republican than the rest of the country.
But there are a few things to consider upon closer inspection. The current officeholder, Governor John Bel Edwards, is a Democrat.
A Democrat governing a state as red as Louisiana sounds as crazy as a Republican governing California today.
The governor is much more conservative than I would like.
But this is the deep south. That is the type of Democrat most likely to get elected to a statewide office without the Republican being an accused child sexual predator.
Besides, the Governor has done an excellent job of getting Louisiana out of a ditch that the previous Governor, Bobby Jindal, drove the state into. Where there were once massive deficits, the state now has a surplus. Under Governor Edwards’s leadership, the state saw a rise in people with health insurance thanks to its Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. Even more impressive, he has fought hard for the LGBT community in Louisiana.
Governor Edwards good work is reflected in his approval ratings. Fifty-two percent of voters on average approve of his performance according to the Morning Consult. All of this despite the brutal attacks he has been receiving.
Even better, he has a realistic chance at winning reelection.
Not bad for a Democrat in such a Red State.
An important detail about Louisiana elections is that they operate with something called a Jungle Primary. What this means is that all of the candidates for office, often featuring members of the same party, will be on the ballot at once during an election. If a candidate gets fifty percent of the vote, they win right away. If no one gets over the fifty percent marker, then the election goes to a runoff.
The Republican nominee for Governor is construction tycoon from Baton Rouge and Donald Trump clone Eddie Rispone. Rispone has followed a similar path to our current president in politics: A lifetime in business spent playing dirty and then proceeding to use calls to “drain the swamp” to advance a regressive agenda. Ironically, he spent an enormous amount of time in said swamp funding Republican candidates. However, his slash and burn tactics during the primary with his GOP opponent may end up hurting him.
But Governor Edwards still has a tough race that he could very well lose.
Despite doing quite well in the jungle primary, he was not able to secure the fifty percent he needed to avoid a runoff. He only got forty six percent, while his Republican challengers combined to take fifty one percent of the vote. Even worse, black voters did not make up a sufficient number of the primary electorate needed to elect a Democrat. In order to win as a Democrat in Louisiana (or the deep south in general), you need to have black voters make up at least thirty percent of the electorate. In the primary, they made up only twenty-six percent.
Edwards needs to do more outreach to black voters, urgently.
That all being said, Governor Edwards out of the three Gubernatorial races in three ruby red states this month has the best chance of winning because of the incumbency advantage and his solid record. That is why I will include his campaign website and ActBlue Link, so we can all send him a lifeline.
Let’s help Governor Edwards do right by the people of Louisiana.
Governor John Bel Edwards:
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