As Moe mentioned on Saturday night, it will be [mc_name name=’Sen. David Vitter (R-LA)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’V000127′ ] versus Democrat John Bel Edwards in the race for Louisiana’s next governor. It was a close race, with Vitter trailing another Republican, Scott Angelle, for a good part of the returns coverage. However, Vitter strongholds started showing up on the map and the two flipped. This entire scene comes after a very ugly primary season, which saw everyone throwing whatever mud dug up from Vitter’s past that they could.
And, to be fair, he is a morally flawed candidate. Vitter was not the first choice of the majority of Republicans in the state of Louisiana who voted on Saturday. What’s more, this election was very underwhelming in terms of voter excitement. No one was really all that into it, and it showed in the voter turnout percentages.
The path for Vitter is going to be tough, but it isn’t unwinnable as a lot of “conservatives” in the state would like you to think. He’s still got a few million on hand, and the Republican Governors Association has pledged a few more. This is an off-year, non-federal election, which historically means lower Democratic turnout. As well, the state is a red state, and has been for a while now.
Right now, Vitter is going to have to alienate Edwards by harping on his opposition to school choice (which I’ve written about before) and his liberal voting record (which you can see a good bit of here) while reconnecting with a Republican base that, while it supported his last election in 2010, appears to have grown ambivalent toward him.
It’s not going to be easy, but Vitter is no stranger to personal attacks. They didn’t stick in 2010, and they likely won’t stick now. Still, if Louisiana doesn’t want a Democratic governor, they will need to go out and vote on November 21.