Louisiana held what is referred to as a “jungle” primary yesterday – an election where all candidates from all parties run on the same ballot.
In a jungle primary, if a candidate secures more than 50% of the vote, he or she is declared the winner and a general election is not needed. If that is not met, the top two vote getters move on to the general election and run against each other.
All 105 state house seats and all 39 state senate seats were also on the ballot yesterday. The 2020 session will see the highest turnover rate since 2007. Sixteen (16) senators and thirty-one (31) representatives were unable to run for re-election due to constitutionally implemented term limits. That list included both the Senate President and the Speaker of the House. Several other lawmakers decided not to run for re-election, even though they were not yet termed out – this led to only sixty-two (62) incumbent house members and twenty-one (21) incumbent senators running on the ballot. As of 9:00AM EST, three (3) incumbents have lost their seats.
However, voters will be going to the polls in mid-November for the general election, as no gubernatorial candidate reached the necessary threshold. Incumbent Governor John Bel Edwards (D) captured 47% of the vote and businessman Eddie Rispone (R) netted 27%.
Governor Edwards distanced himself from the impeachment inquiry against President Trump, saying it is a disruption from governing in Washington.
According to a new Gray Television poll, of their six local affiliates around the state, 57% of Louisiana voters oppose impeachment of the president, while 35% support it.
Democrats thought the Governor’s conservative policy background, and his lead in his last election, as reasons for why they would be able skip the November runoff and easily return to the governor’s mansion.
However, Trump held a last-minute rally in Louisiana on Friday to get out to vote for Rispone and keep Edwards from breaking 50%. It may have made all of the difference. Focusing on Democrats who want to impeach him, Trump railed against his own opponents in Washington – with whom Edwards shares party alignment.
Sabato’s Crystal Ball, a political campaign ratings and review website based out of the University of Virginia, now rates the Nov. 16 Louisiana general election as a “tossup.”
Edwards must now run against Rispone, who has the support of
a president. President Trump in 2016 won Louisiana by 20 points. According to
the latest Morning Consult tracking poll, Trump’s approval rating in Louisiana
is currently at 56%.