WHO: You! Yes, you, even if you don’t live in Louisiana and have never heard of Foster Campbell.
WHAT: Help support Foster Campbell, the Democrat running for Senate in Louisiana.
WHERE: Take action from home.
WHEN: Right now… The run-off election takes place December 10.
WHY: The short version – Republicans (as of November 27) hold a 51-seat majority in the Senate. This means that Senate votes along party lines will essentially give President Trump a blank check to do whatever he wants. Limiting the power of President Trump requires that some Republican Senators vote with the Democrats (no small feat).
If Campbell wins in Louisiana, that is one fewer Republican Senator that would have to be flipped in order to protect the country from Trump… AND it is one fewer seat Democrats would need to win in 2018 to claim the Senate majority. (See below for a lengthier explanation of what’s happening.)
- Donate to Foster Campbell’s campaign. Even a couple dollars helps Campbell get advertising in the right places and fund get-out-the-vote efforts.
- If you are in Louisiana, or near Louisiana, sign up to volunteer through Campbell’s website.
- SHARE this post, or any article about Foster Campbell. This run-off race is not getting much traction in national media. Use your influence to raise awareness of this important Senate seat.
- Caroline Fayard was another Democrat running for the Senate seat in Louisiana. She did not make the run-off election and won’t be on the ballot December 10. Contact her to thank her for representing the Democratic party and to ask that she pull her full support behind Foster Campbell.
Louisiana has a different approach to their Senate race than most states. They hold a “Nonpartisan Blanket primary,” also known as a “Jungle primary.”
The Jungle primary is a two-round system. It works like this:
- On election day, everyone running for the Louisiana Senate seat appears on the ballot. The two Senate candidates who get the most votes are then the official candidates for the Senate seat. This is a nonpartisan process and the final candidates can represent any party, or can both be from the same party.
- The two, final Senate candidates run against each other in a “run-off” election. Voters in Louisiana return to the polls to vote for their Senator, a few local races, and various propositions.
This year, there were 24 Senate candidates on the Louisiana ballot on election day. (David Duke was among them.) The two candidates with the most votes were John Neely Kennedy (R) and Foster Campbell (D). The run-off election takes places on December 10.
There are 100 seats in the Senate. Our next Senate is currently comprised of 51 Republicans, 46 Democrats, and 2 Independents (with the Louisiana seat still open). The 2 Independents both caucus (meet and vote) with the Democrats. This means that, from policy and philosophical perspectives, the Senate is split 48-51 (with a Republican majority).
If Foster Campbell wins the Louisiana seat, the split will be 49-51. This narrows Republican control and makes it much easier for Democrats to pull just two Republican Senators over the divide to vote against anything dangerous President Trump wants to do. It also puts Democrats (and like-minded Independents) in a much better position to re-take the Senate majority in 2018.
If Campbell loses in Louisiana, the split will be 48-52. It doesn’t seem like a big difference mathematically, but in the human terms of negotiating the Senate, it’s huge.
We also can’t overlook the impact of a Senate race that occurs after the contentious general election – it has the potential to be a referendum on what occurred November 8. Louisiana is a red state and the Republican Senate candidate is the front-runner; a win by the Democrat in this race would send an important message and can help give Senate Democrats the reinforcement they need to advocate for the will of the majority of Americans.
- Foster Campbell’s website
- The Hill: Democrats have one final shot to flip a Senate seat
- New York Times: For Democrats, a last, faint hope
- Bustle.com: How to help Foster Campbell
- Politico: Current Senate Election Results
- Wikipedia: United States Senate election in Louisiana, 2016