Louisiana held their state elections on Saturday, and if you follow politics at all, you know the headline outcome is a November 21st runoff in the Governor’s race between Republican U.S. Senator David Vitter and Democratic State Representative John Bel Edwards. A complete list of unofficial election results is at the Secretary of State’s web site. Statewide executive office and constitutional amendment totals can be found here, while results for state legislative races are here. Here are some quick thoughts:
- The runoff contest for Governor is going to be very interesting. Mr. Edwards has proven to be a strong candidate and campaigner, and Sen. Vitter has made more than a few enemies, both in the past and during this campaign. Add in the fact that both President Obama and outgoing Republican Governor Bobby Jindal are extremely unpopular in Louisiana right now. Sadly, the most reliable prediction is that this runoff will be very nasty, and serve as a further example why good people avoid elected office and the average voter is disgusted with politics.
- The State Senate races, which were analyzed on this website, turned out very close to how I expected. There are four races which will require runoffs next month – and they are the exact four contests that were previewed here. I also predicted 7 of the 8 participants in those runoffs.
- The party composition in the State Senate before the elections was 26 Republicans and 13 Democrats. After Saturday, the GOP is assured of 24 seats, and since two of the four runoffs are between members of the same party (two Dems in SD #7 and two Republicans in SD #36), there are just two districts where party control is yet to be decided. The GOP is favored in both those races, meaning party control will be unchanged.
- Early Saturday, I highlighted 3 incumbents who had been significantly outspent in their races here. Sen Dale Erdey (R) had no problems in his race in SD #13, but the other two narrowly escaped being forced into a runoff. In fact, those were the two State Senate races where the winner barely obtained 50%. Both Sen. Dan Claitor (R – SD #16) and Sen. Norby Chabert (R – SD #20) avoided another round of voting by an identical 260 vote margin, and each won election with only 51%.
- In other statewide races, there will be runoffs for Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General, as well as in two state Board of Education districts.
- All 105 seats in the Louisiana State House were up for election on Saturday also. Fifteen of those races will require runoffs.