Thankfully, the President and Republican Party officials listened. First, the President tweeted that Louisiana voters should choose one of the “Great” Republicans, either U.S. Congressman Ralph Abraham or businessman Eddie Rispone, and called Edwards a “Nancy Pelosi/Chuck Schumer Democrat” who “does nothing but stymie all of the things we are doing to Make America Great Again.”
Of course, the President is correct for Edwards is the type of liberal Democrat who donated $5,000 to far-left Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams. While he masquerades as a “moderate,” he supports Abrams, Hillary Clinton and other left-wing Democrats who move the national party in a progressive direction. This does not represent the values of most Louisiana voters.
After the devastating tweet, over the course of the last week, Vice President Mike Pence held a rally in Kenner and Donald Trump, Jr. visited Lafayette. While these visits will help spur GOP turnout on Election Day, what will really help is the upcoming visit of President Trump to Lake Charles on Friday night. He will pack a 7,500-seat auditorium with enthusiastic supporters and the rally will certainly generate statewide media coverage which will help bolster Republican voter turnout efforts.
Right now, polls show that Governor John Bel Edwards is close to 50% support. With the undecided vote, these polls show Edwards may win on Saturday. Obviously, it is much too close for comfort for Republicans.
The two leading GOP candidates, Abraham and Rispone, have not gained much traction in the past few months. One interesting development is that the latest polls show Rispone leading Abraham. This has not been due to a major uptick in Rispone’s poll numbers, but due to a decline in Abraham’s support level.
Abraham has dropped because he has been on the receiving end of a torrent of Rispone attack ads. While Republican leaders have bemoaned the strategy, it has worked well for Rispone, who now leads Abraham. Unfortunately, for Republicans, the support level for Edwards has remained consistently in the high 40’s.
The best person able to put a dent in the poll numbers for Governor Edwards will be visiting the state on Friday. It is a high-risk strategy for the President is putting his political capital on the line to produce a run-off. If he fails, his opponents in the media and the Democratic Party will boast that it is due to his “falling poll numbers” and the baggage of the impeachment battle in Washington D.C.
However, if the Governor is forced into a run-off, Louisiana Republicans can give almost all the thanks to one person, President Donald Trump.
Jeff Crouere is a native New Orleanian and his award winning program, “Ringside Politics,” airs locally at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and at 10:00 p.m. Sundays on PBS affiliate WLAE-TV, Channel 32, and from 7-11 a.m. weekdays on WGSO 990-AM & www.Wgso.com. He is a political columnist, the author of America's Last Chance and provides regular commentaries on the Jeff Crouere YouTube channel and on www.JeffCrouere.com. For more information, email him at [email protected]