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Carter faces uphill battle in mayoral race, analysts say

Race hinges on turnout
Updated: Nov. 4, 2020 at 4:59 PM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Political analysts say East Baton Rouge Mayor-president Sharon Weston Broome has an easier path to re-election than her challenger, Steve Carter, has to unseating her.

Broome advanced to the runoff with 48 percent of the vote, more than her republican challengers combined. Democratic challenger Rep. Denise Marcelle garnered 7 percent of the vote, which helped keep Broome from winning the election outright.

“She’s got the lead. The numbers favor her being able to get elected,” political analyst Clay Young said. “She doesn’t want to do anything that would change the momentum she’s building.”

Carter will have to convince republicans who voted for Jordan Piazza and Matt Watson to vote for him in the runoff. He’ll also have to convince some republicans who voted for Broome to flip in order to win.

Republican candidates need near-unanimous support from white republicans to win East Baton Rouge parish-wide races.

“There’s going to be a large number of republicans who look at the landscape and say, ‘(Carter) can’t win, so why waste my time?'” Young said. “That’s always something you deal with in elections. You have to give people a reason to believe you’ve got a shot.”

Young said he expects interest in the presidential election will linger into December, perhaps holding voters' attention through the Dec. 5 runoff. In a typical year, turnout from November to December would drop dramatically.

“Now, all of a sudden, somebody popped the balloon,” Carter said. “We’re not going to have an awful lot of people turning out. So the key to it, for me, is to get our voters to turn out and go to the polls.”

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