Democrats can still flip one last Senate seat

All is not lost—yet.
All is not lost—yet.
Image: Reuters/Joshua Roberts
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Having won 51 seats in the US Senate, the Republican party’s control of that chamber is not in doubt. But the election isn’t over just yet. There’s still Louisiana, where one of the seats will be assigned in a runoff on Dec. 10.

The empty seat once held by David Vitter is being contested by John Kennedy, Republican state treasurer, and Foster Campbell, a Democrat who is currently serving as public service commissioner.

The GOP is favored for an easy win in this Republican stronghold. (Donald Trump won 58.1% of votes cast.) Indeed, in the first round of voting, which saw 24 contestants for the seat, Kennedy got 25% of the votes. Campbell came in second at 17.5%. Since neither candidate cleared 50% of the votes, they must now face each other in a runoff in which there’s at least one new element at play: Trump won.

On the one hand, that wave of Republican support could carry into an easy win in Louisiana, if house speaker Paul Ryan’s proclamation of “the dawn of a new unified Republican government” holds true.

But the shock of Trump’s victory, the wave of hateful incidents against minorities, and the protests that followed it may end up propelling the Democratic candidate forward.

There’s some tradition of splitting the ticket in Louisiana. Though it’s a red state, its governor—John Bel Edwards, who succeeded one-time presidential hopeful Bobby Jindal in 2015—is a Democrat. Further, upset Democrats may answer calls to rally around Campbell and donate time and money to win the final battle, now that the war has been lost.