Is it deja vu all over again?  The first poll on the 2016 U.S. Senate race has Democratic Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell leading the pack.

He is matched up against five potential Republican candidates.  Sounds familiar?  In the recent governor’s race, Democrat John Bel Edwards faced three GOP contenders.

We know what happened there.  The battle for second place and a spot in the runoff among the three Republicans got downright nasty, spurred on by U.S. Sen. David Vitter’s take-no-prisoners ads.

Could that happen again?  There are potentially  five viable Republicans who could enter the race.  In fact, three already have.lou Burnett

They are U.S. Reps. Charles Boustany and John Fleming and retired Air Force Colonel Rob Maness.  Also thinking about it are state Treasurer John Kennedy and Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle, who finished third in the recent governor’s race.

At the same time, Campbell has not made a firm decision about jumping into the race.  He is likely encouraged by Democrat Edwards winning the state’s top job, but political analysts still view Louisiana as a Red State.

What might also be encouraging to Campbell is the fact that Democrat Mitch Landrieu, the mayor of New Orleans and a former lieutenant governor, has opted out of the race.

For Campbell to have a chance, should he decide  to run, he would have to be the only viable Democrat in the race, which would probably assure him a spot in the runoff.  The GOP candidates would have to duke it out to earn the number two position.

Here are the results of the poll conducted by  Survey USA for the Make Louisiana Proud PAC, which was formed to support Kennedy should he enter the Senate race:

Democratic Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell – 23%.

Republican state Treasurer John Kennedy – 21%.

Republican Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle – 12%.

Republican U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany – 10%.

Republican. Rob Maness – 9%.

Republican U.S. Rep. John Fleming – 6%.

State voting stats

In perusing voter statistics for the 2015 governor’s race, there was not a lot of difference between the numbers for the primary and the runoff.  Apparently, not many got excited about the runoff after a contentious primary election nor did they get fed up and stayed home.

The statewide voter turnout for the primary on October 24 was 39.2%.  The turnout for the runoff on November 21 was 40.2%.

There was a bump, however, in voter turnout by blacks and Democrats in an apparent effort to elect Democrat John Bel Edwards governor.

In the primary, black voter turnout was 35.2%.  It increased to 38.9% for the runoff with 34,089 more blacks voting.

Democrats, meanwhile, had a 43.5% voter turnout in the primary, and it increased to 45% in the runoff  with 20,026 more Democrats voting.

Republicans didn’t stay home after Vitter emerged as the runoff contender after a nasty fight between the three major GOP some analysts predicted.

In the primary, Republican voter turnout was 45.7%.  In the runoff, it was 46.4%.

It is a viable assumption that many supporters of Scott Angelle and Jay Dardenne, who were viciously attacked in ads by Vitter, abandoned the GOP to vote  for Edwards.

In the primary, Vitter, Angelle, and Dardenne combined received 637,793 votes.  But in the runoff, Vitter’s total vote was 505,940.  So, of the total number of voters who cast ballots in the primary  for one of the three GOP candidates, 131,853 did not vote for Vitter in the runoff.

Edwards received 646,924 votes in the runoff to Vitter’s 505,940, a margin of victory of 140,984 votes.

Here is a breakdown of the stats for the runoff:

Vote By Race

Of 1,857,610 white registrants, 778,621 (41.9%) voted in the runoff election.

Of 908,403 black registrants, 353,462 (38.9%) voted.

Of 134,484 other race registrants, 33,717 (25.1%) voted,

Vote By Political Party

Of  1,331,874  Democrat  registrants,  599,334  (45%) voted.

Of 582,354 white Democrats, 276,249 (47.4%) voted.

Of 710,571 black Democrats, 311,846 (43.9%) voted.

Of 38,949 other race Democrats, 11,239 (28.9%) voted.

Of  816,060  Republican  registrants,  378,824  (46.4%) voted.

Of 763,192 white Republicans, 362,815 (47.5%) voted.

Of  22,243  black  Republicans,  6,060  (27.2%)  vored.

Of 30,625 other race Republicans, 9,949 (32.5%) voted.

Of 752,563 Other Party/No Party registrants,  187,642 (24.9%) voted.

Of 512,064 white Other Party/No Party, 139,557 (27.3%) voted.

Of 175,589 black Other Party/No Party, 35,556 (20.3%) voted.

Of 64.910 other race Other Party/No Party, 12,529 (19.3%) voted.

Bowled over

Since the season of college football bowl games is fast approaching, we would like to offer a few thoughts about the matchups.  After all, I was a sports editor  back in my younger days before I got consumed by politics.

There are now 40 bowl games in late December and early January.  No, that is not a typo.  Forty is correct as unbelievable as that sounds.

Outside of the college football playoffs and a few top tier bowls, most of them don’t mean anything to anybody and aren’t worth watching.

It’s at the point where bowls are now inviting teams with a losing record because there are so many bowl slots to be filled.  When a 6-6 record was required to get into a bowl game, that was bad enough.

As for me, I don’t care to watch a game between two teams with 6-6 records, much less one with teams with a losing record.

It used to be that getting invited to a bowl game  was a reward for having a good season.  That, obviously, is no longer the case.

CBS Sports has ranked the 40 bowl games based  on interest and a complicated formula.  Here’s what  they have to say about some of the games:

*Campus World Independence Bowl – Tulsa (6-6) vs. Virginia Tech (6-6). Our hometown bowl is set  for December 26 at 4:45 p.m.    It is ranked No. 38 out of 40 bowls on the interest scale.  CBS Sports says:

“The only appeal of this game is it’s your last chance to watch Frank Beamer coach.  Other than that, well, it’s No. 38 for a reason.”

*Texas Bowl – LSU (8-3) vs. Texas Tech (7-5).  Set for December 29 at 8 p.m.  It is ranked No. 32 on  the interest scale.  CBS Sports says:

“Just can’t help but look at this matchup and see a blowout one way or the other.  So even if it’s two Power Five teams, don’t expect it to be good.”

*New Orleans Bowl – Arkansas State (9-3) vs. Louisiana Tech (8-4).  Set for December 19 at 8 p.m.  It is ranked a surprising No. 16 on the interest scale.  CBS Sports says:

“Games like this are why we do these rankings.  You may ook at this matchup and write this one off, but we’re telling you this game will be worth your time.  You don’t have to know the teams to enjoy a game.”

So, which are the most interesting bowl games?  Here is what CBS Sports says:

1.  Orange Bowl – No. 1 Clemson (13-0) vs. No. 4 Oklahoma (11-1) on December 31 at 3 p.m.

2.  Cotton Bowl – No. 2 Alabama (12-1) vs. No. 3 Michigan State (12-1) on December 31 at 7 p.m.

3.  Rose Bowl – No. 6 Stanford (11-2) vs. No. 5 Iowa (12-1) on January 1 at noon.

4.  Fiesta  Bowl – No. 8  Notre  Dame  vs.  No.  7   Ohio State (11-1) on January 1 at 4 p.m.

  1. Russell Athletic Bowl – No. 10 North Carolina (10-2) vs. No. 17 Baylor (9-3) on December 29 at 4:30 p.m.

Lou Gehrig Burnett is a seasoned veteran of national and local politics. He publishes Fax-Net Update, a weekly political newsletter.

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