Updated Nov 17, 2019

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards defeats Trump-backed challenger

John Bel Edwards. Photo: Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Incumbent Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) overcame a tough challenge from President Trump-backed businessman Eddie Rispone to be re-elected governor late Saturday for a second term, AP reports.

Why it matters: The tight race victory by the only Democratic governor in the Deep South in Trump country is a major blow for the president, who tried to drum up support for Rispone at two presidential rallies in Louisiana this month and in tweets leading up to the vote.

  • Trump even made a last-ditch appeal on Twitter for Rispone just before Louisiana polls closed.

By the numbers: With 99% of precincts reporting by 11:30 pm ET, official figures show Edwards won 51% of the vote.

Background: Conservative Democrat Edwards was forced into a runoff last month after falling just short of the 50% threshold needed for an outright win, achieving 47% of that vote.

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Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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Louisiana set for a close finish in governor's race

Trump and Eddie Rispone, Nov. 14, Bossier City, Louisiana. Photo: Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

Polls closed at 8 pm local time in what looks to be a nail-biting gubernatorial runoff election in Louisiana, which pits a rare Democratic Southern governor, incumbent John Bel Edwards, against a Republican challenger, businessman Eddie Rispone.

The big picture: Saturday's contest is expected to be decided by a razor-thin margin, per FiveThirtyEight. President Trump, in an attempt to tip the balance in favor of Rispone, visited Louisiana three times in just more than a month, "directly linking the impeachment inquiry to a state election that will test his clout in the Deep South," according to the New York Times.

Go deeper: Trump leaps into Louisiana governor's race

Editor's note: This article originally stated polls closed at 9 pm, which is correct for Eastern Time but omitted to state this.

Keep ReadingArrowNov 16, 2019

Trump's fading superpower on display in Louisiana governor loss

Photo: Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

President Trump blessed and helped win, against the odds, the Florida and Georgia governors races in 2018 — an astonishing display of political muscle.

Driving the news: This year, in two more conservative states, Trump tried a similar feat — Kentucky earlier this month, and Louisiana yesterday — and flopped. 

Go deeperArrowNov 17, 2019

Lawmakers push for investigation into Matt Bevin's pardons

Former Gov. Matt Bevin in Lexington, Kentucky on Nov. 4. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Lawmakers are calling for an investigation into more than 400 pardons issued by former Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) in the final days of his term, the New York Times reports.

What's happening: Bevin pardoned convicted murderers, rapists and drug offenders, NPR reports. Robert Stivers, GOP president of the State Senate, also asked the U.S. Attorney's Office to examine the pardons late Friday, per the Times.

Go deeperArrowDec 14, 2019