Republican John Neely Kennedy easily defeated Democrat Foster Campbell in Saturday’s runoff election for Louisiana’s open Senate seat, marking the official end of the 2016 election.
Kennedy, the state treasurer, and Campbell, a public service commissioner, advanced to the runoff election after none of the 23 candidates who ran in November won a majority of the vote. Under the state’s rules, if no candidate wins a majority of the vote, the top two candidates enter a runoff election.
The race had far-reaching implications in Washington, D.C. Republicans won control of the Senate last month with a razor thin margin. By picking off a seat in Louisiana, Democrats had hoped to deny the GOP its 52nd vote in the upper chamber and possibly block portions of President-elect Donald Trump’s agenda in the capitol. A closer margin also would have threatened some of his more controversial Cabinet picks, which are subject to confirmation by the Senate.
Democrats from all over the country were pouring money into this race in the last few weeks, desperately hoping to put at least one significant notch in the “Win” column. Instead they kept the trend going: the Democrat had a lot more money to spend, but lost anyway.
This should make Trump’s honeymoon period a bit easier. He is obviously not going to get one from the press–they’re exhausted after the eight-year honeymoon they’ve given Obama, but he’s got an opportunity to get some things done via legislation. The presence of Pence and Priebus makes it even better. There will be a functional conduit between the West Wing and Congress that will allow the new president to really hit the ground running if he wants to.
That screaming you hear in the background is the sound of Democrats realizing that confirmation of the Cabinet picks they are all freaking out over just got easier for the new administration. Let the gutting of the EPA begin!
This also means that Trump is already almost as successful with endorsements as Obama was in eight years, and he’s only 1-for-1. The president-elect showed up to rally the voters for Kennedy this week. For all his personal success, Obama’s endorsements were never very magical — and his coattails were practically nonexistent.