Tuesday, 15 December 2015 20:46

Jon Bel Edwards the Strong-arm; Foster Campbell, the US race leader

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Louisiana house repsBy Lou Gehrig Burnett

Campbell leads in Senate race

    Is it deja vu all over again?  The first poll on the 2016 U.S. Senate race has Democratic Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell leading the pack.

    He is matched up against five potential Republican candidates.  Sounds familiar?  In the recent governor’s race, Democrat John Bel Edwards faced three GOP contenders.

    We know what happened there.  The battle for second place and a spot in the runoff among the three Republicans got downright nasty, spurred on by U.S. Sen. David Vitter’s take-no-prisoners ads.

    Could that happen again?  There are potentially  five viable Republicans who could enter the race.  In fact, three already have.

    They are U.S. Reps. Charles Boustany and John Fleming and retired Air Force Colonel Rob Maness.  Also thinking about it are state Treasurer John Kennedy and Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle, who finished third in the recent governor’s race.

    At the same time, Campbell has not made a firm decision about jumping into the race.  He is likely encouraged by Democrat Edwards winning the state’s top job, but political analysts still view Louisiana as a Red State.

    What might also be encouraging to Campbell is the fact that Democrat Mitch Landrieu, the mayor of New Orleans and a former lieutenant governor, has opted out of the race.

    For Campbell to have a chance, should he decide  to run, he would have to be the only viable Democrat in the race, which would probably assure him a spot in the runoff.  The GOP candidates would have to duke it out to earn the number two position.

    Here are the results of the poll conducted by  Survey USA for the Make Louisiana Proud PAC, which was formed to support Kennedy should he enter the Senate race:

    Democratic Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell – 23%.

    Republican state Treasurer John Kennedy – 21%.

    Republican Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle – 12%.

    Republican U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany – 10%.

    Republican. Rob Maness – 9%.

    Republican U.S. Rep. John Fleming – 6%.

State voting stats

    In perusing voter statistics for the 2015 governor’s race, there was not a lot of difference between the numbers for the primary and the runoff.  Apparently, not many got excited about the runoff after a contentious primary election nor did they get fed up and stayed home.

    The statewide voter turnout for the primary on October 24 was 39.2%.  The turnout for the runoff on November 21 was 40.2%.

    There was a bump, however, in voter turnout by blacks and Democrats in an apparent effort to elect Democrat John Bel Edwards governor.

    In the primary, black voter turnout was 35.2%.  It increased to 38.9% for the runoff with 34,089 more blacks voting.

    Democrats, meanwhile, had a 43.5% voter turnout in the primary, and it increased to 45% in the runoff  with 20,026 more Democrats voting.

    Republicans didn’t stay home after Vitter emerged as the runoff contender after a nasty fight between the three major GOP candidates.as some analysts predicted.

    In the primary, Republican voter turnout was 45.7%.  In the runoff, it was 46.4%.

    It is a viable assumption that many supporters of Scott Angelle and Jay Dardenne, who were viciously attacked in ads by Vitter, abandoned the GOP to vote for Edwards.

    In the primary, Vitter, Angelle, and Dardenne combined received 637,793 votes.  But in the runoff, Vitter’s  total  vote  was  505,940.  So, of the total numberof voters who cast ballots in the primary for one of the three GOP candidates, 131,853 did not vote for Vitter in the runoff.

    Edwards received 646,924 votes in the runoff to Vitter’s 505,940, a margin of victory of 140,984 votes.

    Here is a breakdown of the stats for the runoff:

Vote By Race

    Of 1,857,610 white registrants, 778,621 (41.9%) voted in the runoff election.

    Of 908,403 blacks registrants, 353,462 (38.9%) voted.

    Of 134,484 other race registrants, 33,717 (25.1%) voted,

Vote By Political Party

    Of  1,331,874 Democrat registrants, 599,334 (45%) voted.

    Of 582,354 white Democrats, 276,249 (47.4%) voted.

    Of 710,571 black Democrats, 311,846 (43.9%) voted.

    Of 38,949 other race Democrats, 11,239 (28.9%) voted.

    Of  816,060 Republican registrants, 378,824 (46.4%) voted.

    Of 763,192 white Republicans, 362,815 (47.5%) voted.

    Of  22,243 black Republicans, 6,060 (27.2%) voted.

    Of 30,625 other race Republicans, 9,949 (32.5%) voted.

    Of 752,563 Other Party/No Party registrants, 187,642 (24.9%) voted.

    Of 512,064 white Other Party/No Party, 139,557 (27.3%) voted.

    Of 175,589 black Other Party/No Party, 35,556 (20.3%) voted.

    Of 64,910 other race Other Party/No Party, 12,529 (19.3%) voted.

Strong-arming?  Really?

    Some  Democrats  are  getting  a  good  laugh  from  an e-mail sent to its members by the Louisiana Republican Party, which accuses Governor-Elect John Bel Edwards of “strong-arming.”

    Here is the e-mail press release:

    “Last month, Louisiana voters elected historic Republican majorities in both the House and Senate.  Now, our next battle is to ensure that our Republican legislators elect a Republican Speaker of the House.

    “Governor-Elect John Bel Edwards is strong-arming Republicans and urging them to choose liberal Democrat Walt Leger as the nect Speaker.

    “Here’s the thing...the Speaker wields the power to set the agenda for the House of Representative.  With John Bel Edward and Walt Leger calling the shots, all conservative reforms will be dead on arrival.

    “We won’t even get to vote on conservative tax reform, expanding school choice, or much needed tort reform.  Instead, we’ll be voting on tax increases, restrictions on our Second Amendment rights and policies that will put liberal unions back in charge.

    “Join us and tell our Republican legislators to commit to only voting for a Republican Speaker of the House.” (End of message)

    As one Democratic legislator put it, “All  Democrats are not left-wing liberals just as all Republicans are not right-wing conservatives.  Where were these Republicans when Gov. Bobby Jindal was strong-arming legislators for his disastrous policies?”

    Edwards has promised to govern from the center, not the left.  He is reaching out to legislators to establish a bipartisan approach to solve the state’s many problems.. 

    Will the Republicans continue its partisan antics or will they work with the new governor?  That is the question yet to be answered.

Last modified on Tuesday, 15 December 2015 20:59
Lou Gehrig Burnett

Lou Gehrig Burnett is the publisher of Fax-Net, a North-Louisiana newsletter.


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