Nov 10, 2019

Trump leaps into Louisiana governor's race

John Bel Edwards (L); Eddie Rispone. Photos: Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images (L); Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Next weekend's Louisiana governor's race is "too close to call," according to the state's top daily paper. President Trump hopes he can use his popularity in Louisiana to push the politically inexperienced Republican challenger across the line.

Why it matters: Incumbent Gov. John Bel Edwards "is attempting to defy the laws of political gravity for the second time and remain as the only Democratic governor in the Deep South, and the only Democrat in Louisiana to hold statewide office," per The Advocate.

Between the lines: "[Eddie] Rispone has the biggest gun of all behind him" — President Trump, who remains popular in Louisiana. And, as the NYT notes, "Rispone has lassoed his fortunes to the president like few others: The candidate's first two runoff ads ... showed Mr. Trump speaking at a rally, with no footage of Mr. Rispone at all."

  • Trump has thrown himself into the run-off election. He held a Nov. 6 rally in Monroe, Louisiana, and told the crowd: "John Bel Edwards has not done a good job. You're going to have great new Republican, a tremendously successful man Eddie Rispone."
  • And the president and first lady joined a huge and enthusiastic crowd for Saturday's college football game between the University of Alabama and Louisiana State University.
  • Trump is scheduled to throw another rally in Louisiana on Thursday night, two days before the vote.

Go deeper: Behind the scenes of Matt Bevin's loss in Kentucky's governor's race

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

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