It was already assumed Louisiana would be an easy check mark for the GOP in the 2016 Senate lineup. Despite a quirky gubernatorial race that led to the victory of Democrat Jon Bel Edwards in 2015, the Bayou Sate remains ruby red.
Because of this, it came as no surprise Louisiana state Treasurer John Kennedy finished in first place on Election Day with 482,380 (25 percent) votes amid a crowded, free-for-all general election. Louisiana conducts elections in an odd way – holding “jungle primaries” where candidates of all parties compete in a single election and then the top two face off in a run-off election.
Kennedy’s performance is impressive given Democrat Foster Cambell came in at a distant second, only receiving 337,682 votes (Republican Rep. Charles Boustany was not far behind in third place with 297,744 votes). There is no reason to believe the Republican base will not consolidate and overwhelm the Democratic nominee on the December 10th run-off.
Cambell, a member of the Louisiana Public Service Commission and a relatively conservative Democrat, has been receiving support from national liberal figures due to the implications this race has for the U.S. Senate in 2017 and beyond. The GOP will control the Senate win or lose, but the extra seat could make all the difference when it comes to tough votes ahead in the upper chamber and some GOP defections on legislation are bound to happen. Fifty two seats are better than 51.
Former senior advisor to President Obama, Dan Pfeiffer, has lamented on numerous occasions the need for national Democrats to get involved in the Louisiana election.
The amount of Democratic energy and money being wasted on recounts instead of trying to win the Louisiana Senate Race is mind boggling— Dan Pfeiffer (@danpfeiffer) November 24, 2016
Liberal comedian Patton Oswalt used his Twitter account to spread the word of Cambell’s campaign efforts.
EVERYONE PLEASE https://t.co/s85w9RlkOy— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) November 14, 2016
Rosie O’Donnell and actor John Leguizamo have also attempted to drum up support for the long-shot candidate. The same for David Skeitz, an actor in New York City.
“At this moment I don’t think it’s crazy to feel like our entire democratic institution is potentially under threat,” said David Skeits, 37, an actor in New York, who donated several hundred dollars to the Campbell campaign after reading about it on Facebook. Mr. Skeits knows that Mr. Campbell does not see eye to eye with him on some issues he considers important, like transgender rights or reproductive choice. But at the moment, Mr. Skeits is not alone in seeing full agreement as an unaffordable luxury.
Cambell is nowhere near where these Hollywood liberals stand on social issues, but their despair over a Republican-controlled Senate has them looking anywhere for comfort.
Sorry libs, a new day is dawning on Capitol Hill.