Things are getting weird in the governor’s race, writes Jeremy Alford in his latest column.
We should have known things were becoming permanently fringe when the governor’s campaign manager Richard Carbo and GUMBO director Trey Ourso, shared a poll this week via their social media accounts that was commissioned and paid for by the conservative-leaning website TheHayride.com.
On top of the polls coming out of left (or right?) field, no issue appears to be too small or cuddly or fuzzy for this race. John Vick, the campaign manager for Congressman Ralph Abraham, unleashed this nugget via his own social media: “… under @JohnBelforLA, Louisiana has become the third-worst state for pets to live.” (This is the same governor, of course, who installed a chicken coop on the lawn of the Governor’s Mansion and now delivers eggs to friends and acquaintances as he travels the state.)
Then there’s Gary Landrieu, an also-ran expected to qualify, who has been campaigning on Louisiana’s ranking as the 51st most solar-friendly state. Energy just lacks the kind of bite that a solid poverty plan would, or some sort of revenue blueprint.
Everyone on the campaign trail has seen more polls than a lifelong professional stripper by now. They know what kind of red meat voters in Louisiana want, which is why we’re seeing candidates go up on television earlier than ever.
Between Edwards and businessman Eddie Rispone, there have already been four different TV spots launched as of last week. The tally grows when you lump in the super PACs. Last cycle, in 2015, the governor didn’t even release his first commercial until September.
President Donald Trump’s control over the nation’s political discourse is probably why this race is going to stay weird and off-kilter. The president is so popular in Louisiana that Rispone’s campaign has purchased newspaper ads and stickers for supporters where Trump’s name appears in a larger font than the candidate’s. Read Alford’s full column about “silly season.”