Louisiana Governor’s Race Looks Tough to Call

19 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Candidates Go On Air, Raise Money In Response To Paris Attacks, Refugee Crisis.

David Vitter aims to convince Louisiana voters that his personal shortcomings pale in comparison to what he calls the one big political flaw of his opponent in the governor’s race here: John Bel Edwards is a Democrat, like President Barack Obama. Consider the Vitter camp’s message after the Paris terrorist attacks. “John Bel Edwards has pledged to work with Obama to bring Syrian refugees to Louisiana,” says the narrator in one new vote-for-Vitter radio ad. Never mind that both candidates have called for a halt in the acceptance of Syrian refugees, or that there are just 14 in Louisiana, say state officials.

Following the Paris attacks, Edwards wrote on Facebook he would work with federal authorities to “accommodate refugees.” That post has since been edited, and Edwards later put out a statement that he supports a “pause” on allowing refugees in. Vitter’s awareness that the winner in Saturday’s runoff election comes down to which force is stronger: the anti-Obama sentiment that has wiped out Democrats in the South, or the distaste for Mr. Still, Vitter and Republicans hope the focus on the issue could help him swing some momentum his way in a race where he’s been fending off personal attacks.

Louisiana already has an absentee governor, and now it seems our absentee Senator failed to do his duty as well.” The Edwards camp declined to comment to FoxNews.com. The issue is becoming a hot one in the presidential contest, too, with all of the GOP hopefuls each trying to show they are the best choice on national security.

John Kasich put out an online ad on Tuesday, accompanied by a fundraising plea to help air it, that highlights what he has said in the aftermath of the attacks and underscoring his own foreign policy experience. Kasich, who is trailing in the polls, said in a speech at the National Press Club Tuesday, though, that he wasn’t aware of the ad, even though it was sent out by his own campaign. Vitter made enemies in the state’s primary last month when he attacked fellow Republicans, and when a private investigator he hired was caught tailing a popular Republican sheriff. Billionaire Donald Trump, who continues to lead Republican presidential polls, has radio ads in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina in which he says, “The tragic attacks in Paris prove once again that America needs to get tough on radical Islamic terrorism.” He charges that Obama is “out of touch,” has “no strategy” and is trying to bring in “hundreds of thousands of refugees” from Syria. Pat Toomey’s campaign manager sent out a fundraising email, based on his opposition to letting Syrian refugees into Pennsylvania. “Senator Toomey believes nothing is more important than the security of the American people.

Vitter’s claim in the new radio ad was a “total lie, born out of desperation.” Although black Democratic candidates can win in congressional districts drawn with significant percentages of black voters, “it’s hard for a white person to get elected as a Democrat in the South,” said Tulane University political scientist Brian Brox. “But if one is going to, they pretty much have to have the record of John Bel Edwards,” he said. But allies of both candidates say the race is much narrower and hard to read in an off-year election. “I’m not going to make a prediction,” said Republican state Treasurer John N. Democrat Jack Conway maintained a steady lead in polls but lost dramatically on Nov. 3, after Republican Matt Bevin focused his campaign on pointing out Mr. Conway’s ties to the Obama administration. “The Kentucky race made everybody stop to realize that something happened there that could happen here,” said Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, a former Democratic Louisiana governor and Edwards backer. He is running three ads featuring people vouching for his character as an individual: his wife, Wendy; a star of TV’s “Duck Dynasty”; and his school-aged son, Jack.

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