Louisiana’s gubernatorial race draws national attention

Louisiana’s gubernatorial race draws national attention

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - President Trump stumps in Louisiana, Friday, just a day before voters are set to choose a governor. He will be in Lake Charles working to ensure republican voters turn out to the polls. But democratic incumbent John Bel Edwards will be there, too, with a rally of his own.

A quick search of Louisiana’s gubernatorial race online yields a slurry of news articles from a number of nationally known publications.

"The nation's eyes are on Louisiana. We're seeing President Trump come in to excite republican voters. We're seeing democratic Governor John Bel Edwards call out his troops," said Fox 8 Political Analyst Mike Sherman.

Trump's Friday stop in Lake Charles comes less than a week after Vice President Pence rallied republican voters in Kenner and John Bel Edwards announced his call to action.

"It's a democratic governor in a deep red state and a lot of eyes are watching to see what would happen, especially with President Trump coming into town," Sherman said.

Plus, Sherman says there are no other gubernatorial races on the ballot this week.

"In this fierce, partisan environment we live in, both parties are looking for as many governorships as possible," he said.

Right now, Republicans have a slight majority with 27 governors to Democrats' 23.

Sherman says this spotlighted race has also attracted the attention of a longtime trend, newer to Louisiana.

"Which is Super PAC money coming in from across the country," said Sherman.

Super PACs, or Political Action Committees, are groups allowed to raise unlimited funds for a candidate but unable to directly support him.

Sherman says money from advocacy groups is also pouring in.

"Those that disclose their donors, those that don't. Those that can't be affiliated with the campaigns, those that can. So, the whole assortment of spending money in Louisiana," Sherman said.

Sherman says both parties will be aggressively vying for votes, in the coming days, but will utilize different strategies to try to secure the seat.

“On the republican side, there’s a push to turn out voters but also an ‘intrabattle’ between Abraham and Rispone to make that runoff. On the democratic side, we’re seeing a push for voter turnout but John Bel Edwards also trying to find those traditional republican voters that actually think he’s doing a good job, to get them to cast a vote who are still undecided,” explained Sherman.

It’s a race likely to make national headlines regardless of who wins.

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