Out of the Jungle in Loosiana

So as we’ve noted here in passing now and then, there’s a statewide election in Louisiana tomorrow for races where no one won a majority in the “first round” non-partisan Jungle Primary on November 21. That includes the governor’s race, where U.S. Sen. David Vitter trailed Democratic state legislator John Bel Edwards by double-digits in the first round and in all three runoff polls. You’re probably going to get some resistance to belief in the polls for two reasons. The first is the recent experience in Kentucky, where Republican Matt Bevin trounced Jack Conway after trailing by double-digits in all the runoff polls. And the second is a Vitter ad blitz that’s based on a compound lie–that Edwards has promised to “work with” the evil Barack Obama to “bring Syrian refugees to Louisiana”–but does manage to seize on the overriding national news story in a way that reminds voters which party the two contenders happen to belong to. Could be worth a few points, eh?

If Edwards hangs on it would toss a bit of sand into the triumphalist meme engine that suggests Republicans just don’t lose races at the state and local levels any more. If Vitter wins I suppose he’ll have some sort of ludicrous mandate to focus on refugees in Baton Rouge. But lucky for him, anything’s going to look pretty good after Bobby Jindal’s second term.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.