2015

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.  

McConnell on GOP Gains in Kentucky: Thanks, Obama

McConnell said Kentucky's 2015 races were a referendum on Obamacare. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democrats might disagree, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell thinks the GOP electoral wave in his home state Tuesday was about President Barack Obama.  

The Kentucky Republican told CQ Roll Call that he viewed the election returns Tuesday in his home commonwealth as a strike against the Obama administration's agenda — particularly the Affordable Care Act.  

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.  

What to Watch for on Election Day

Bevin, left, who ran an unsuccessful GOP Senate primary in Kentucky in 2014, is trailing in the Bluegrass State gubernatorial contest. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Voters in a handful of states across the country head to the polls Tuesday for a slate of elections that political handicappers use as an off-year election bellwether of what might happen in 2016.  

And while no federal offices are on the table, results from these states will have implications for House and Senate contests in 2016.  

Vitter’s Primary Performance Prompts Rating Change in Louisiana

Vitter's personal history makes it complicated for Republicans to stick their necks out for him. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Louisiana has transitioned to a Republican state, but GOP Sen. David Vitter will test the political gravity of the Pelican State in next month’s gubernatorial runoff.  

Vitter was regarded as the front-runner to replace presidential candidate/current Gov. Bobby Jindal for much of the cycle, but the senator’s consistently poor performance in the polls and his showing in Saturday’s all-party primary has some Republicans very concerned that Vitter could let the governorship slip into Democratic hands.  

Louisiana Democrats Hope to Harness 'Anti-Vitter' Republicans

Vitter made it to the state's gubernatorial runoff. Now, the hard part has begun for the state's Democrats. (File Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Though he received enough support to advance to a runoff next month, more than 850,000 of the 1.1 million people who voted last weekend in Louisiana pulled the lever for someone other than Republican Sen. David Vitter.  

Ahead of the Nov. 21 vote — where the veteran politician who has weathered big storms before will face Louisiana House Democratic Leader John Bel Edwards – Vitter's goal is clear: Convincing most of the 381,000 voters who supported his Republican opponents  that he is a good second choice.  "It's too many of the Baton Rouge politicians that have failed us," Vitter told supporters on election night , his opening play against his sole rival. His campaign is already trying to tie Edwards directly to President Barack Obama, who is unpopular in the state.  

Vitter Inches Into Runoff in Louisiana Governor's Race

Vitter, R-La., will face Edwards, a Democratic state representative, in a Nov. 21 runoff to become Louisiana's next governor. (File Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 9:58 a.m., Oct. 26 |Louisiana Republican Sen. David Vitter will face John Bel Edwards, a Democratic state legislator, in a runoff to become Louisiana’s next governor.  

Edwards finished first with 40 percent of the vote to Vitter's 23 percent. Most of the rest of the vote went to the other two Republicans in the race: Scott Angelle, a member of the state’s utility regulating commission got 19 percent of the vote, and Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne finished with 15 percent. The two will face off in a Nov. 21 runoff to succeed Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal, who is term-limited.  

RGA Going Back on Air in Kentucky for Matt Bevin

The RGA pulled ads supporting Bevin about three weeks ago. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated: 9:05 a.m. | Nearly three weeks after pulling its advertising from the Bluegrass State's airwaves, the Republican Governors Association will go back on the air for the final two weeks of the hotly contested race for the keys to the Kentucky Governor's Mansion, a source told CQ Roll Call.  

On Monday evening, a source close to the RGA said the group sees the race between Republican Matt Bevin and Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway as winnable, and said it will be back on television there through Election Day. The source said the RGA will transfer $1.6 million back to the state for a television, digital and direct mail campaign attacking Conway. The 30-second spot features a video of President Barack Obama saying “policies are on the ballot” for voters when they are considering candidates.  

Kentucky Governor Race Tilts Toward Democrats

Bevin, shown here during his 2014 Senate campaign, has underwhelmed some Republican strategists in his run for governor. (File Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

With just weeks to go before the Nov. 3 election, Democratic state Attorney General Jack Conway has a narrow advantage over Republican Matt Bevin in the Kentucky governor race.  

The race certainly isn’t over, and public polling has the two candidates virtually running even. But Bevin’s personal ratings have declined in the face of Democratic attacks, while Conway’s image has consistently been in better shape.