Nov 17, 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. 

In Louisiana, "Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards claimed a second term [last night], winning a stunning victory in a heavily Republican state and beating back repeated attacks," tweets and visits by President Trump, The Advocate of New Orleans reports.

  • "Edwards defeated Republican businessman Eddie Rispone with about 51% of the vote, polling 40,341 ballots more than his opponent out of more than 1.5 million cast."

How it happened: "Urban ministers, organized labor and black politicians worked for Edwards, the 53-year-old who is the only Democratic governor in the Deep South," per The Advocate.

  • "Rispone ... had Trump at his side at rallies — along with $2 million and 60 paid staffers sent at the last minute from the Republican National Committee and millions more dollars from the Republican Governors Association."

By the numbers: As Bloomberg's Sahil Kapur notes, Trump held rallies for the Republican gubernatorial candidates in Kentucky, Louisiana and Mississippi, where he put the fight against impeachment front and center. The results:

  • Kentucky, which Trump won by 30 points in 2016, was carried by the Democrat by 0.4%.
  • Louisiana, which Trump won by 20 points in 2016, was carried by the Democrat by 2.6%.
  • Mississippi, which Trump won by 18 points in 2016, was carried by the Republican by 5.5%.

Go deeper: The GOP's nightmare scenario for 2020

Go deeper

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.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Nov 17, 2019

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

How Trump wins in 2020

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump's re-election campaign wields more money, staff, infrastructure and advanced digital operations than the Democratic competitors — and a fan base that hears "impeachment" as a rallying cry.

Driving the news: Over a 90-minute PowerPoint session at a hotel in Arlington, Va., on Thursday, Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner, campaign manager Brad Parscale and other senior Trump campaign officials presented dozens of national political reporters their theory of how Trump can win again in 2020.

Go deeperArrowDec 14, 2019