Analyst: BR mayor and Senate election results may not be unexpected

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - After months of campaigning, voters across Louisiana go to the polls Tuesday to select the next senator and Baton Rouge mayor-president.

Political analyst Jim Engster said some of the results may not be all too unexpected.

"When all is said and done, it looks like the candidates who are the likely survivors in the runoff are the two who are best known in the mayor's race, that have the most money," Engster said. "And the two in the Senate race are the best known and those that have been around Louisiana politics the longest."

When the race began, there were 24 candidates for Senate and more than 10 people vying for mayor-president in Baton Rouge.

"In a large field, those that have bases of support and name recognition are going to benefit the most," Engster said.

Because the two races mainly flew under the radar since the beginning, the candidates that led polls at the start seem to still have the advantage now.

That means, it is likely that long-time front-runners Democrat Sharon Weston Broome and Republican Bodi White will make it to the runoff for Baton Rouge mayor.

In the Senate race, Engster expects the Republicans will split 60 percent of the vote, while Democrats will split 20 percent.

"It looks like John Kennedy has the base to probably make the cut, then on the Democratic side, the two candidates are fighting for about 40 percent of the vote, so conventional wisdom is that one of them will be above 20 percent," Engster.

The main two Democratic contenders are Foster Campbell and Caroline Fayard, who have been embroiled in a bitter fight in recent weeks.

Engster said he believes there is at least an 80 percent chance the Senate runoff will come down to a Democrat and Republican.

In a year when Democrats are trying to regain control of the Senate, Engster said the big question will be whether the national parties will start to pour a lot of money into the Louisiana runoff.

"You would think the party would, but two years ago, Mary Landrieu found out that the party gave up on her and she didn't really have the support of the party in a runoff against Bill Cassidy, and she got 44 percent of the votes," Engster said.

Polls open at 6 a.m. Tuesday and voters must be in line no later than 8 p.m.

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