Catherine Lyons is a writer, graduate student of public policy at Georgetown University, and advocate for progressive issues such as immigration reform. The views expressed here are her own. Thought the 2016 election was finally over? Not quite. Democrats have one more shot to gain a seat in the U.S. Senate, which could be vital to quelling President-elect Donald Trump’s agenda. And it's not too late to make a difference in the race. On December 10, Louisianans will go back to the polls to elect their next senator. The state of Louisiana participates in a “jungle primary,” in which every candidate is on the general election ballot. If no one wins a majority of votes, it goes to a runoff between the top two. This year, the election’s last race comes down to Republican John Kennedy and Democrat Foster Campbell. Normally, a Senate race in Louisiana wouldn’t catch the attention of Democrats nationwide. But after Hillary Clinton’s devastating loss last month to Donald Trump, as well as significant losses in Congress, people are paying closer attention to races down the ballot, and right now, all eyes are on the bayou.
TL;DR: A Foster Campbell win in Louisiana could help Democrats in our fight to block Trump's agenda.
As a former New Orleans resident, my social media feeds have been scattered with news stories about Foster Campbell since November 8, as weary Democrats, myself included, struggled with an unexpected loss and sought out ways to help the cause and mitigate the expected negative impact of the policies touted on the campaign trail. Even with a win in Louisiana, the Senate Democrats would only have 49 seats to Republicans’ 51. Still. But the split would mean one less vote needed from across the aisle for big decisions like repealing Obamacare, passing the federal budget (which could include funds for construction of Trump's wall), and Supreme Court confirmations. TL;DR: A Foster Campbell win in Louisiana could help Democrats in our fight to block Trump's agenda. So, who is this last hope for Democrats? Campbell is a longtime politician — he served as a state senator for 26 years before running unsuccessfully for governor against Bobby Jindal. He is also a cattle farmer, and he sits on the state’s Public Service Commission. He’s won endorsements from the current Democratic governor and Democrats across the country for his progressive positions on Medicaid expansion, equal pay, increasing the minimum wage, and disability rights. Meanwhile, his opponent John Kennedy is a staunch Trump supporter and falls in lock step with the president-elects' policies.
Louisiana has gone red in every presidential election since 2000, and polls currently have Campbell down against his Republican opponent. But the state did elect a Democratic senator, Mary Landrieu, three times in the past 20 years. So there is hope, and volunteers can help close the gap. Here are four ways you can help elect Foster Campbell to the U.S. Senate.