louisiana

What Does It Take To Crack the Inner Circle of Political Consultants?

Edwards' "prostitutes over patriots" ad is credited with helping him beat Vitter (YouTube)

Democrat John Bel Edwards’ “prostitutes over patriots” ad will be remembered as one of the most-hard hitting television spots in campaign history. But did it catch the attention of national Democratic strategists?  

Political consulting is a competitive sport with millions of dollars at stake. There is plenty of jockeying to be on top strategists’ unofficial list of approved consultants in order to be recommended to candidates and be in line for independent expenditure work.  

Vitter Won't Seek Re-Election After Louisiana Governor's Loss

Vitter thanks supporters during his election night watch party in Kenner, La., on Saturday. (Max Becherer/AP Photo)

Republican Sen. David Vitter said he will not seek re-election next year after his stunning loss to Democrat John Bel Edwards in the Louisiana governor's race.

"I came up short tonight," he told supporters at his election night watch party in Kenner, La.

Vitter's Future on the Line as Louisiana Votes for Governor

Vitter speaks to reporters after Monday's debate in Baton Rouge. (Gerald Herbert/AP Photo)

As Louisiana voted Saturday in the runoff election for governor, Sen. David Vitter flooded the three-parish New Orleans metro area with robocalls striking a contrite tone: “I humbly ask for your vote.”  

To Republican strategist James Farwell, who lives in New Orleans and has a long record of working with Newt Gingrich, Vitter’s self-defending TV ads with his family in the campaign's final days are a sign of how well Democrat John Bel Edwards' campaign executed its strategy.  

Following Paris Attacks, Syrian Refugees Emerge As Issue in Louisiana Governor's Race

The race to replace outgoing Gov. Jindal is getting nasty, with both Vitter and Edwards trading angry punches. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

While some have suggested the Paris attacks might have implications on the 2016 presidential race, voters in Louisiana are dealing with the issue in a much more immediate way.  

As voters prepare to head to the polls in Saturday’s gubernatorial runoff, Republican Sen. David Vitter — who is trailing in the polls to state Rep. John Bel Edwards — released a new television commercial that attempted to capitalize off of fears about Syrian refugees following reports that one of the attackers in France may have gotten into the country along with others who were fleeing the war that is raving their home country. https://twitter.com/DavidVitter/status/666369451416092672  

Vitter's Governor Race Raises Concerns Over His Senate Seat in 2016

A narrative that had once defined Vitter as the inevitable leader in the Louisiana governor's race has flipped, raising concerns about his Senate seat. (File Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Louisiana Sen. David Vitter's gubernatorial campaign won't entertain questions about his future should he lose the Nov. 21 runoff.  

But plenty of other Republicans are already looking past then to whether Vitter would run for re-election to the Senate in 2016 and the implications of what that means for keeping control of the Senate in their party's hands. One national Republican operative told CQ Roll Call that if Vitter does lose the governor's race, “he’s going to have to have a long look in the mirror and come to the realization that he probably can’t win reelection [to the Senate]. This is a problem for Republicans if he does digs his heels in.”  

Is Vitter on the Verge of Losing Everything?

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Louisiana isn’t anywhere close to belonging on a list of swing states, yet Republican David Vitter is at risk of losing not only his gubernatorial race this month, but also his Senate seat next year.  

The Pelican State’s senior senator has struggled to unify the Republican vote after finishing second in the Oct. 24 jungle primary with just 23 percent. He trails Democrat John Bel Edwards in multiple public polls heading into the Nov. 21 runoff. Vitter’s numbers have dipped to a point where, should he lose, some Republicans will want him to drop his bid for re-election to the Senate in 2016 because they are concerned he could put the seat at risk of a Democratic takeover. Republicans are already defending senators in blue and purple states, and GOP strategists don’t want to have to spend money in a state where President Barack Obama received 41 percent in 2012.  

Prostitution Pops Up in New Round of Louisiana Ads

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Reeling from months of attacks about his 2007 prostitution scandal, Republican Sen. David Vitter released a new TV ad offering voters an apology in the final days of his Louisiana gubernatorial campaign.  

"Fifteen years ago, I failed my family but found forgiveness and love,” Vitter said directly to the camera. "Our falls aren't what define us, but rather how we get up, accept responsibility and earn redemption." https://www.youtube.com/embed/yImv6dnzNl4  

Louisiana Governor's Election Continues Tradition of Unusual Party Splits

Vitter is trailing in the race to become Louisiana's next governor. (File Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated: 5:46 p.m. | Among some Republicans in Louisiana, Republican Sen. David Vitter's candidacy for governor is drawing comparisons to an election with an unpopular nominee more than two decades ago that divided the party.  

“What I keep hearing from folks – neighbors and other parents at the school – is, ‘this is going to be the first time since 1991 that I vote Democrat. I just can’t vote for that guy,’” said one Louisiana Republican operative. The Pelican State – with its free-for-all, jungle primary system – has a unique history of troubled nominees and intra-party feuds. During the 1991 race, for example, state Rep. David Duke – a man who openly associated with Nazi groups and served as the grand wizard of Ku Kluk Klan during the 1970s – was the party's standard-bearer for governor.  

What Does Bevin’s Victory Mean for Vitter?

   

Matt Bevin’s victory in the Kentucky governor’s race is yet another sobering reminder that polling is a risky business. And for some Republicans, Kentucky could be a glimmer of hope for GOP Sen. David Vitter’s gubernatorial bid in Louisiana.  

David Vitter Trails Democrat in Louisiana Governor's Runoff

Vitter, R-La., heads to the Senate floor for a vote. (File Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

In the first poll released since two candidates emerged from Louisiana’s jungle primary for governor, state House Minority Leader John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, holds a serious lead over Republican Sen. David Vitter.  

The survey , made public by the Democratic Governors Association and conducted by Anzalone Liszt Grove Research — an Alabama-based firm that has done polling for both of Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns and now Hillary Rodham Clinton’s — found Edwards with a 12-point lead, 52 percent to 40 percent, with less than four weeks until the Nov. 21 runoff.  Vitter inched his way into the runoff on Oct. 24 over two other Republicans with 23 percent of the vote. He finished four points ahead of Scott Angelle, a member of the state’s Public Service Commission, and eight points ahead of Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne. Edwards received about 40 percent of the vote.