5 things to watch in every state: Louisiana

  1. U.S. Senate race: I’m actually looking forward to this Senate race more than any other Senate race in the country.  I’m not really exaggerating by that much.  Thanks to a quirk in Louisiana’s electoral laws, there’s not a real primary election.  The primary election is the general election and everyone can run.  If no candidate gets more than 50% of the vote in the general election, there is a runoff election held between the top two vote getters.  Louisiana is a conservative state.  So, why am I excited? There are 24 candidates running for Senate in Louisiana.  24!  Yea. Good luck getting 50% of the vote with that many candidates. The most recent polling that I’ve seen had Republican John Kennedy with 24% of the vote and Democrat Foster Campbell with 19%.  We haven’t gotten to one of my favorite parts, there are 8 Republican candidates running and all trying to get to the run off so they’re going to beat each other up along the way.  Also, David Duke is running.  How did I get that far in the paragraph without mentioning that? Ahhh. It’s all so glorious.  There’s a very good chance that two Democrats advance to the runoff.
  2. U.S. House of Representatives District 3: This is mainly because of the quirk of Louisiana election law that allows all of the candidates to show up on the ballot for the general election.  There are 12 candidates running for this seat including 8 Republicans.  If they split enough of the vote, there is a possibility that two Democrats can advance to the runoff.  I don’t think it’s very probable, but there’s always a chance.
  3. Amendment 2: The state legislature is no up for election, next Tuesday.  So we move on to the statewide ballot measures.  This ballot measure, if passed, would allow college boards to establish tuition and fee without getting legislative approval.  Most of the opposition for the bill has come from Democrats in the state Senate and State House of Representatives. If passed, it seems likely that college tuition would be raised at the Louisiana public colleges and universities.  The New Orleans Times Picayune argues that if passed, college boards could make some type of degrees more expensive than others.  I’m interested in watching if young voters show up to vote or parents of these children show up to vote.
  4. Amendment 3: This seems like ballot budgeting, which some oppose.  The Amendment, if passed, would allow corporations to no longer deduct their federal income taxes from the state income tax bill.  They would pay a flat tax of 6.5%.  This also decouples the corporate tax in Louisiana from the federal tax collections in Washington, D.C. Most of the opposition of the Amendment came from Republicans and the Amendment was offered by a Democrat.
  5. Amendment 6: This Amendment was more or less put forward because of poor budgeting for the state over the last few years and the governorship of Bobby Jindal.  The Amendment would allow it easier for the state to access money in some state accounts.  It would protect some state accounts from being tapped in the event of a budget downturn.  But it could be that voters and legislators are trying to be protected from making tough budget decisions going forward.