President Donald Trump (R) is scheduled to hold a rally in Louisiana for Republican gubernatorial candidates Ralph Abraham and Eddie Rispone on October 11, the day before the state’s top-two primary election. Trump endorsed both candidates on October 1.
On Monday, Donald Trump Jr. headed a rally in support of Abraham and Rispone in Lafayette, and on Saturday, Vice President Mike Pence (R) headlined a rally for the candidates in the New Orleans area.
In addition to Abraham and Rispone, incumbent John Bel Edwards (D), Oscar Dantzler (D), Gary Landrieu (independent), and Patrick Landry (R) are running in the primary. A candidate can win the October 12 election outright by receiving more than 50 percent of the vote. If no candidate reaches that threshold, a general election between the top two vote-getters will be held on November 16.
Five recent polls showed Edwards with 45-47 percent support. Three of the five polls showed Abraham and Rispone tied within margins of error for second place.
Edwards is the only Democratic governor in the Deep South, and he is the only Democrat holding statewide office in Louisiana. The state has been under divided government since Edwards assumed office in 2016, as Republicans have held majorities in both chambers of the state legislature. In addition to the gubernatorial election, Louisiana is holding elections for all 39 state Senate seats and all 105 state House seats in 2019.
In order to win a trifecta—single-party control of the governorship and the state legislature—Republicans need to maintain their majorities in the state legislature while winning the gubernatorial election. Democrats need to win majorities in both chambers of the state legislature while holding the governorship.
Among the 50 states, there are currently 23 Democratic governors and 27 Republican governors. In addition to Louisiana, Kentucky and Mississippi are holding gubernatorial elections in 2019. In those states, the pre-election incumbents are Republicans.