The Gret Stet Senate Race: 24 Candidates In Search Of A Plot

The Gret Stet flood of 2016 put the race to replace Bitter Vitter on hold for a few weeks. It was no great loss for Louisiana  political junkies, it was a snoozer until recently. There are 24 candidates running; only a handful with any chance of making the run-off: State Treasurer John Kennedy, Congresscritters Charles Boustany and John Fleming, and Democrats Foster Campbell and Caroline Fayard.

David Duke is running and also has an outside shot at making a run-off. Unlike the others, he has *no* chance at winning the seat. UNO did a Duke oriented  poll and found that his negatives remain sky-high despite his embrace of Donald Trump. Only 13% of those surveyed would vote for him in a primary and only 16% would vote for him against a Democrat in a run-off. It’s good when bad things happen to horrible candidates.

Duke recently recorded a robo-call, which I did not get. I’m bummed about that. I enjoy a good laugh at Dukkke’s expense, y’all. Here’s the Gret Stet Fuhrer Wannabe’s message:

Hi, this is David Duke. I’m sorry I missed you. I’m running for U.S. Senate, and I’ll tell the truth that no other candidate will dare say.

Unless massive immigration is stopped now, we’ll be outnumbered and outvoted in our own nation. It’s happening. We’re losing our gun rights, our free speech. We’re taxed to death. We’re losing our jobs and businesses to unfair trade. We’re losing our country.

Look at the Super Bowl salute to the Black Panther cop killers. It’s time to stand up and vote for Donald Trump for President and vote for me, David Duke, for the U.S. Senate. I’d love to hear from you.

To find out more, contribute, or volunteer for the Go to Together, we’ll save America and save Louisiana. Paid for by the Duke campaig

Team Trump quickly denounced the calls. The last time they tangled with Dukkke they were slow to respond so they *have* learned something. As for Duke, his campaign co-ordinator, Mike Lawrence, blamed Trump’s staff for the disavowal and issued a somewhat pathetic warning:

“Trump does not want to lose the Duke support in the state of Louisiana,” he said.

“Duke and Trump’s future are linked together,” Lawrence added in an email follow-up to his phone call with TPM. “Trump will overwhelmingly carry the State of Louisiana; however, this cannot be done without the Duke vote.”

It’s nice when an uncomfortable shoe is slipped on the Insult Comedian’s foot. Duke may be a member of the old-right, as opposed to the alt-right, but Trump needs his unrepentantly racist voters. Team Duke, however, shouldn’t gloat: Trump is the big fish in this race, at best, Dukkke is a mid-sized whitefish. He looks more like a wizened piranha at this point.

I opted not to write about Duke’s candidacy before this because it’s not going anywhere. In a year with Donald Trump running for President, it’s hard to get too outraged over the return of a perennial loser. Duke is only running for the money and attention, after all.

The robo-call flap *did* inspire a blast from the past: the Louisiana Coalition Against Racism and Nazism have rebooted to oppose Duke’s candidacy. It was instrumental in defeating Duke in his 1990 Senate and 1991 Goober campaigns. Welcome back, y’all. The lifting won’t be as heavy this time around.

I originally came up with this post title before the flood. It still applies: the race has the Duke sub-plot but polling has been scarce, so the course of the campaign remains a minor mystery. Gret Stet opportunist-in-chief John Neely Kennedy has the highest name recognition, so he got 28-32% in earlier surveys. He’s hoping the voters have forgotten that he previously ran for the Senate in 2004 as a liberal Democrat and in 2008 as a conservative Republican. I have not forgotten. As to the Democrats, Campbell has had a long career in elective office but ran a horrible statewide campaign against Bobby Jindal in 2007. For some reason, he has the Governor’s support. I quite like Caroline Fayard who ran a decent race for Lt. Gov in 2010 getting 43% of the vote. I’ll vote for her but the GOP is likely to hold the seat.

As to the other Republicans, I may write about them when there’s more data. I know one thing for sure about this murky race: David Duke will not be the first Gret Stet Fuhrer Wannabe elected to the Senate. Other than that, it remains 24 candidates in search of a plot.