Troy Carter and Karen Carter Peterson Look Forward to the Runoff

The final field is set for Louisiana’s 2nd Congressional district. With a huge field of 15 candidates, a runoff was likely.  And most predicted that Troy Carter and Karen Carter Peterson would be the top two finishers.  They are.  But there was a big surprise in the race. Gary Chambers’ sudden rise in the final days of the campaign.  In fact, the Baton Rouge native narrowly missed topping Carter Peterson for the second spot in the race.  Now. his endorsement could play a big role in the final outcome.

The district is largely based in New Orleans but snakes up the Mississippi River parishes and includes a part of Baton Rouge. The district was drawn to provide African American representation in Congress.  This is typically a liberal stronghold and the top three candidates’ philosophies were almost identical.  The race came down to personalities and funding. 

Carter raised the most money and led in the polls throughout. Carter Peterson received the financial and strategic support of national women’s rights groups, most notably including Georgia’s Stacey Abrams.  Chambers came on late with the support of national progressive groups.

2nd Congressional Race -The top three finishers

Turnout and Home field

Troy Carter dominated across the board winning every parish except Iberville and West Baton Rouge.  The biggest surprise was that Chambers beat Carter Peterson in metro New Orleans, while she beat him in Baton Rouge. Claston Bernard’s performance was another surprising factor.  The African American Republican ran strong in the two parishes Troy Carter did not win.  

In our look at the Congressional runoff, we examined turnout. Turnout was higher in New Orleans than Baton Rouge and the river parishes.  But during his victory speech, Carter made special mention of both Baton Rouge and the river parishes.  Carter seems determined to improve upon his strong showing there in the runoff.  In Baton Rouge, Chambers activism and previous support was able to influence President Sharon Weston Broome. She did not endorse during the general election.  Her endorsement in the runoff will also have a huge impact.

Troy Carter’s now famous $1 million attack ad on Carter Peterson was more effective than her Oscars trip corrupt politician ad.  The biggest beneficiary of those ads was probably Gary Chambers.  Unscathed and unknown he rose precipitously after those attacks.

The Data for Our Look at the Congressional Runoff

The path to victory in the runoff seems tight and narrow for Carter Peterson.  T. Carter beat her in 90% of the precincts, including her own Senate district in New Orleans. Her performance also imperils the BOLD political organization.  If Troy Carter soundly defeats Carter Peterson, then Jay Banks political future is less secure. And the BOLD organization is left without any top tier political office to claim.

The rumors have already started. Will Ms. Carter Peterson drop out of the runoff?  Endorsements and fundraising over the next week will be a big tell.

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