Wednesday, 25 October 2017 19:21

Pinsonat's insider look at upcoming Louisiana Governor's Race against John Bel Edwards

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We're roughly two years away from either re-electing John Bel Edwards for Louisiana Governor or selecting his successor. Louisiana, being that dark blood-rich red state comprising a majority of Democrats under Republican dominance, will have a choice.  Does it follow the rest of the Deep South and elect only Republicans for major statewide office or, does it buck the trend once again, and back the Democrat incumbent?

On Wednesday, I had the opportunity to discuss a variety of issues via  a Facebook Live discussion with Bernie Pinsonat, pollster and political analyst for Southern Media and Opinion Research, in Baton Rouge. One of those was the upcoming Governor's race.

Why talk about that race now, given that election day is over 700 days away? The answer is--based upon historical precedent--candidates begin to look about, around half-time within an administration, especially if there could be a competitive race ahead.

Who's thar on the horizon, so far away? Pinsonat talks about a possible lineup in this segment of the interview. Roughly half of the video is transcribed below.  But to get to the BIG QUESTION--move the horizontal scroll bar to the 3:35 mark and watch away. 

SABLUDOWSKY: I know we're two years away, I know that you were quoted in The Advocate and about the Senate, the senator possibly running for governor--we're talking about Senator Kennedy-- so what's your take? I know you and I talked about this and so it his to decide-- is that correct?

PINSONAT: Yeah I've been saying this for about a month and actually after the election last Saturday we're starting to look at the governor's race, because we are we just had a statewide race, but all I said is--John Kennedy is a player and state politics much much more so than, much more so than most senators.  He's back home involved in issues, he's in fights with the Democratic governor on Medicaid or spending or taxes.  And also, John Kennedy is very involved in the politics down of back home.  He may be in Washington as the senator but he certainly plays,  you know he's certainly involved in everyday political issues here in Louisiana.  So, and being a United States Senator and being able to talk to the Republican National Governors Association, being able to talk to the National Republican Party with 2019 approaching and or other Republicans going to allow a Democrat to maintain control of state government in a deep south state?  So if Kennedy wants to run it's going to be hard for anyone to displace him as the person that is going to get the money or get the endorsements or get the support or get the Republican machinery taken away from him.  So how do you push him out of the way? And so my point is--until John Kennedy tells us whether he's interested in coming back home or not, everybody else is almost gonna have to take a wait-and-see.  If you're a Republican and look there are potentially other candidates.  You've got Congressman Garret Graves out there--the big the big news, the big talk,  the big rumor right now is will Steve Scalise come back home.

You've got the Attorney General Jeff Landry whose name is always mentioned.  So there are other people who may or may not run for governor but until Kennedy decides what he wants to do, it doesn't mean they can't run,  but it means that in I've said it to you and you know--it means that the Republicans, if there's a fight with Kennedy or who runs then that's the best chance that Governor John Jel Edwards has to get reelected.  If the Republicans are united, it's very difficult for a Democrat to win statewide, and if they fight among themselves and get into another bruising battling and attack each other 12 and 24, then certainly they will elect John Bel Edwards,  but at the present time I don't see that happening, But what I do see happening is Kennedy will make his decision and then everything will start falling in line after that .  Whether it's him or someone else, but, a lot of the Republican-- if he doesn't run and there are some who would rather see him run--there's Steve Scalise.  Because I don't think anyone thinks that he would have a lot of trouble becoming governor if he wants to.  I mean it's just you know he's been up he's been in the legislature, he's a national hero here in Louisiana and if he wants to come back home-- no other Republican including the Democratic governor--he would be such an odds-on favorite - if he wants to be governor, I don't know how you would stop him.

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