Trump Re-Elects Democrat John Bel Edwards Governor Of Louisiana, Is There Nothing He Can't Do??
Earlier this week, Donald Trump went to Louisiana to campaign for Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Eddie Rispone and to beg his supporters in the state to "give him a big win," on account of how it really hurt his feelings when everyone said that Democrat Andy Beshear beating Republican Matt Bevin in Kentucky was a big loss for him, even though, he claimed, his campaigning for Bevin led to him doing better than he would have otherwise. So really, it was a WIN, but the media won't tell you that.
Trump begged his followers in Louisiana: “You’ve got to give me a big win, okay?" Campaigning w/Trump has now lea… https://t.co/XVSlaNyYig— Stephanie Kennedy (@Stephanie Kennedy)1573964108.0
Alas, he did not get his "big win." Last night, Democratic Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards won his re-election bid 51% to 49% against Rispone — a man who, as far as anyone can tell, was running on being a "Republican outsider and businessman" and nothing else. To be fair, Bel Edwards hates abortion, loves the Second Amendment and is happy to work with Trump, so it is hard to imagine what a Republican challenger could even do or say to differentiate themselves.
This election was a runoff, held because Bel Edwards failed to win re-election in the state's blanket primary — garnering 46% of the vote against Rispone's 27% and the 23% that another Republican, Ralph Abraham, netted.
Now, some of us might be going "What? Another Democrat won in a red state?!? After Trump campaigned for his opponent?? Seems like a bad sign for Trump!," Trump's surrogates like Steve Scalise are already trying to push the same narrative they tried to push after Kentucky — that Rispone did better than he otherwise would have because Trump came and campaigned for him.
"What he said was he'd be made to look bad whether he came in the state or not," Scalise said on "Fox News Sunday." "Eddie Rispone made up a 22-point disadvantage over the last month because of President Trump's involvement. … Clearly, President Trump's involvement made a big difference at helping close that massive gap."
Scalise, who appeared Thursday at a Louisiana rally with Trump in support of Rispone, added that Trump's support helped galvanize Republicans in the state to force a runoff between Edwards and Rispone.
"The governor's polling showed he was above 50 before President Trump first started getting involved, that forced a runoff," Scalise said.
Sure! Except that it still means that a smaller percentage of people voted for him than voted for him and the other Republican guy in the blanket primary. MATH!
This, of course, does not really matter because no matter how things work out, Trump and his supporters and going to claim victory, because that's how they operate. They like cheering for him and for themselves, they do not necessarily care about the reason why or whether or not it makes any sense. I wish I could say it was a terrible strategy, but to be entirely frank, it probably isn't. There are people out there spending 30K on a handbag because someone told them it was a "status symbol," ok? People love a bandwagon! And most of the time, they will just go along with the shit that makes them feel good, regardless of how ridiculous those things may be.
And hey! We, on the other side, can now cheer for the fact that a Democrat who opposes reproductive rights and gun control is, again, the Governor of Louisiana! Hip hip hooray!
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse