How Long Before David Vitter Is Hawking Pampers In TV Ads?
If you've been following the Louisiana gubernatorial election even superficially, tonight's results probably didn't come as a surprise. Conservative Democrat John Bel Edwards has been leading perverted Republican David Diapers Vitter all along. And once the jungle primary was over, it all started getting worse and worse for runner-up Vitter. Tonight, with all precincts counted, Edwards beat Vitter 56-44%. In Orleans Parish Edwards beat him 81,900 (87%) to 12,748 (13%) and in Vitter's own Jefferson Parish Edwards won 49,902 (51%) to 48,633 (49%). It was a bad night for David Vitter.
Louisiana is indeed one of the reddest states in the country at this point. In 2012 Romney beat Obama 1,152,460 (58%) to 808,496 (41%) and took a mere 10 parishes out of 64. In Livingston Parish just east of Baton Rouge Romney got 45,488 votes to Obama's 7,448-- that's an 84-14% landslide. Romney did even better in Cameron parish-- 87-11%. And last year Lousiana voted out long-time Senator Mary Landrieu for the relatively unknown Republican Bill Cassidy, 712,379 (56%) to 561,210 (44%), giving that seat to a Republican for the first time since 1883. Landrieu took only 15 of the state's parishes. Vitter did worse than any Republican since the GOP ran KKK Grand Dragon David Duke in 1991.
The last gubernatorial poll before the polls opened today, from Market Research Insight, showed what every other poll has show-- that Louisiana voters had had it with Vitter. The poll predicted Edwards would beat Vitter anywhere from 54-39% to 47-42%.
Early voting gave a good clue as to how today would go. Around 268,000 people voted before today and more than 140,000 of them were Democrats, a bad sign for Vitter. It got even worse today, worse (for Vitter) than even the polls were predicting.
Vitter has been telling the media that if he lost it would be primarily Bobby Jindal's fault, presumably because the Republican governor, disliked by 70% of the voters, had made the GOP toxic. That isn't totally fair since Edwards has made sure that this election would be all about Vitter's character. Nevertheless, this morning Dave Weigel, writing for the Washington Post pointed out that Jindal actually was working against Vitter, who he hates.
In Louisiana, it's an open secret that Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-La.) concluded a years-long blood feud with Vitter by ending his presidential campaign on Tuesday.Weigel missed one piece in his story, which seems to bolster his point. According to a Trump twitter attack on Jindal, the day before pulling out of the race, Jindal plopped down the required $1,000 to appear on the New Hampshire ballot.
"You can't get anyone to admit it, but it's what everyone thinks," said Julia O'Donoghue, the state politics reporter for the New Orleans Times-Picayune. "We spent two days talking about refugees and then two days talking about Jindal. Those first two days were the only ones in the runoff when John Bel [Edwards, the Democratic nominee] was on defense."
The timeline is simple. On Sunday, news broke that a Syrian refugee's passport was found with one of the suspects in the Paris terrorist attacks. Within a day, Vitter was up with a TV ad accusing Edwards of wanting to work with President Obama-- whose toxicity Vitter had previously tried and failed to pour on the Democrat-- and let in refugees. At the final gubernatorial debate on Monday, Vitter pressed the issue. He intended to drive it home all week.
Then, on Tuesday, Jindal used a mid-day Fox News interview to end his presidential campaign. That had a direct effect on what Louisiana's press corps could cover. "There really aren't that many of us," noted O'Donoghue. Instead of spending Wednesday covering the gubernatorial race, the media covered Jindal and his failed presidential bid, and it kept covering him as he suddenly proposed a fix to the $500 million budget gap that had helped drive down his popularity in the state. The news of Vitter heading back to his day job and introducing a bill to staunch the refugee flow was buried.
Vitter's campaign, which did not respond to a question from The Post, had to scramble. Instead of following its plan for Thursday-- four press events, all on refugees-- he had to downsize. As Buzzfeed's John Stanton reported, one of the events was moved from outside of the Catholic Charities’ refugee assistance office to the steps of the capitol in Baton Rouge. Most of the questions were about the budget hole, a more immediate issue for the next governor than the settlement of refugees.
Asked if Vitter's campaign had been considered in the decision to quit the White House bid, Jindal spokesman Kyle Plotkin responded with a flat "no." But Jindal had refused to endorse Vitter, and even while he spoke about barring refugees from the state, he gave no cover whatsoever to Vitter's message-- which included a factually dodgy story of a refugee going "missing," even though he was quickly located and committed no crimes. "Republicans could lose the governor’s office because of Senator David Vitter’s badly damaged brand," Jindal strategist Curt Anderson told NBC News reporter Kasie Hunt.
Vitter, who isn't well-liked in the Senate (other than by Ted Cruz), was judged by the GOP establishment unable to win re-election to the Senate in 2016. Tonight he said he won't even try. So who will? Probably Congressmen Charles "Lord Boustany" Boustany and John Fleming and state Treasurer John Kennedy from the GOP and possibly New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, a former state rep and then two-term Lt. Governor, Mary's brother, and therefor son of the legendary Moon Landrieu, from the other side of the aisle.