2010 United States Senate election in Louisiana

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DVitterOfficial.jpg
Charles Melancon (cropped).jpg
Nominee David Vitter Charlie Melançon
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 715,415 476,572
Percentage 56.6% 37.7%

2010 United States Senate election in Louisiana results map by parish.svg
Parish results

Vitter:      40-50%      50-60%      60–70%      70-80%

Melançon:      40–50%      50–60%      70–80%

U.S. senator before election

David Vitter
Republican

Elected U.S. Senator

David Vitter
Republican

The 2010 United States Senate election in Louisiana was held on November 2, 2010. Republican incumbent U.S. Senator David Vitter won re-election to a second term, becoming the first Republican ever to be re-elected to the United States Senate from Louisiana.

Background

Vitter faced a potentially serious challenge in the Republican primary as well as the general election. Lieutenant General Russel L. Honoré, who is best known for serving as commander of Joint Task Force Katrina responsible for coordinating military relief efforts for Hurricane Katrina-affected areas across the Gulf Coast, was allegedly mulling over whether or not to challenge Vitter in the Republican Primary.[1] Tony Perkins, a former Louisiana state representative and current president of the socially conservative Family Research Council, acknowledged interest in running against Vitter because of the prostitution scandal.[2][3] Nonetheless, Perkins decided not to run and endorsed Vitter for reelection.[4]

Some speculated that Vitter's reelection might have become complicated, by the prostitution scandal revealed in 2007, but he continued to lead in aggregate polling against potential opponents.[5]

Following a movement to draft him into the race,[6] John Cooksey, a former U.S. Representative, appeared poised to put together a challenge, planning on spending $200,000 of his own money.[7] Cooksey, however, pulled back and did not qualify.

A campaign to draft porn actress Stormy Daniels began in early 2009. She considered whether to run but ultimately declined to qualify.[8][9][10]

On June 14, 2009, Congressman Charlie Melançon announced his intentions to run for Senate in 2010. Melançon, who was representing Louisiana's 3rd Congressional District since 2005, released the announcement to his supporters, saying that "Louisiana needs a different approach, more bi-partisan, more disciplined, more honest and with a whole lot more common sense." Melançon was a leader of the Blue Dog Coalition, a group of fiscally conservative Democrats who aim to lower the deficit and reform the budget.[11][12]

In the weeks before the election a major concern for Vitter's camp was possibly voter apathy about the race. For example, publisher Rolfe H. McCollister Jr., in his Greater Baton Rouge Business Report, endorsed fellow Republican Jay Dardenne over Democrat Caroline Fayard in the simultaneous race for Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana, but then explicitly made "no endorsement" for U.S. Senate:

I have talked with a number of voters who are just not very excited about this race—the candidates or the tone. I'm not either. You're on your own here.[13]

Democratic primary

Candidates

Polling

Poll Source Dates administered Charlie Melançon Neeson Chauvin Undecided
Clarus Research Group August 15–16, 2010 43% 3% 52%

Results

Results by parish .mw-parser-output .legend{page-break-inside:avoid;break-inside:avoid-column}.mw-parser-output .legend-color{display:inline-block;min-width:1.25em;height:1.25em;line-height:1.25;margin:1px 0;text-align:center;border:1px solid black;background-color:transparent;color:black}.mw-parser-output .legend-text{}  Melançon—80–90%   Melançon—70–80%   Melançon—60–70%   Melançon—50–60%    Melançon—40–50%
Results by parish
  Melançon—80–90%
  Melançon—70–80%
  Melançon—60–70%
  Melançon—50–60%
  Melançon—40–50%
Democratic Primary results[14]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Charlie Melançon 77,702 70.6%
Democratic Neeson Chauvin 19,507 17.7%
Democratic Cary Deaton 12,842 11.7%
Total votes 110,051 100.0%

Republican primary

Candidates

Polling

Poll Source Dates administered David Vitter (R) Chet Traylor (R) Undecided
Clarus Research Group August 15–16, 2010 74% 5% 18%
Public Policy Polling August 21–22, 2010 81% 5% 9%

Results

Results by parish   Vitter—>90%   Vitter—80–90%   Vitter—70–80%   Vitter—60–70%
Results by parish
  Vitter—>90%
  Vitter—80–90%
  Vitter—70–80%
  Vitter—60–70%
Republican Primary results[14]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican David Vitter (Incumbent) 85,179 87.6%
Republican Chet Traylor 6,838 7.0%
Republican Nick Accardo 5,221 5.4%
Total votes 97,238 100.0%

Libertarian primary

Candidates

Results

Libertarian Primary results
Party Candidate Votes %
Libertarian Randall Todd Hayes 1,529 61.7%
Libertarian Anthony "Tony G" Gentile 950 38.3%
Total votes 2,479 100.0%

General election

Candidates

Major

Minor

Campaign

Melançon heavily criticized Vitter for prostitution sex scandal.[17][18] Vitter released television advertising criticizing Melançon for his support for Obama's stimulus package and his support for amnesty for illegal immigrants.[19]

Debates

Melançon claimed "In August, Melançon challenged Vitter to a series of five live, televised town hall-style debates across the state. In his 2004 campaign for Senate, Vitter committed to five live, televised debates. Since Melançon issued the challenge, Vitter and Melançon have been invited to a total of seven live, televised debates. Vitter only accepted invitations to debates hosted by WWL-TV and WDSU-TV, both in New Orleans."[20]

Predictions

Source Ranking As of
Cook Political Report[24] Lean R October 26, 2010
Rothenberg[25] Likely R October 22, 2010
RealClearPolitics[26] Likely R October 26, 2010
Sabato's Crystal Ball[27] Likely R October 21, 2010
CQ Politics[28] Likely R October 26, 2010

Polling

Poll source Date(s)
administered
David
Vitter (R)
Charlie
Melançon (D)
Research 2000 March 2–4, 2009 48% 41%
Public Policy Polling July 17–19, 2009 44% 32%
Rasmussen Reports October 5, 2009 46% 36%
Rasmussen Reports January 14, 2010 53% 35%
YouGovPolimetrix January 6–11, 2010 52% 32%
Rasmussen Reports February 10, 2010 57% 33%
Rasmussen Reports March 10, 2010 57% 34%
Rasmussen Reports April 7, 2010 52% 36%
Magellan Strategies Archived July 2, 2010, at the Wayback Machine June 10–13, 2010 51% 31%
Public Policy Polling June 12–13, 2010 46% 37%
Rasmussen Reports June 24, 2010 53% 35%
Clarus Research Group August 15–16, 2010 48% 36%
Public Policy Polling August 21–22, 2010 51% 41%
Rasmussen Reports August 30, 2010 54% 33%
Magellan Strategies September 19, 2010 52% 34%
Magellan Strategies October 10, 2010 51% 35%
Anazalone Archived November 16, 2010, at the Wayback Machine October 22, 2010 46% 43%
Clarus Research Group October 21–24, 2010 50% 38%
Magellan Strategies Archived November 16, 2010, at the Wayback Machine October 24, 2010 52% 35%

Fundraising

Candidate (Party) Receipts Disbursements Cash On Hand Debt
David Vitter (R) $8,384,938 $6,833,900 $3,555,994 $0
Charles Melançon (D) $3,711,556 $4,043,362 $445,853 $0
Source: Federal Election Commission[29]

Results

United States Senate election in Louisiana, 2010[30][31]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican David Vitter (incumbent) 715,415 56.56% +5.53%
Democratic Charlie Melançon 476,572 37.67% +8.44%
Libertarian Randall Hayes 13,957 1.10% N/A
Independent Michael Brown 9,973 0.79% N/A
Independent Mike Spears 9,190 0.73% N/A
Independent Ernest Wooton 8,167 0.65% N/A
Independent Skip Galan 7,474 0.59% N/A
Reform William McShan 5,879 0.46% N/A
Independent Bob Lang 5,734 0.45% N/A
Independent Milton Gordon 4,810 0.38% N/A
Independent Tommy LaFargue 4,043 0.32% N/A
Independent Sam Melton 3,780 0.30% N/A
Total votes 1,264,994 100.0%
Republican hold

References

  1. ^ General Russell Honore To Run Vs David Vitter In Louisiana US Race? Archived September 1, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "Perkins, Toomey for Senate?". Politico.com. April 7, 2008. Retrieved December 16, 2008.
  3. ^ Libit, Daniel (February 25, 2009). "Perkins, porn star eye Vitter's seat". Politico.
  4. ^ Kraushaar, Josh (March 13, 2009). "Perkins not challenging Vitter". The Scorecard. Politico.
  5. ^ Murray, Shailagh (July 10, 2007). "Senator's Number on 'Madam' Phone List". Washington Post. Retrieved May 27, 2010.
  6. ^ "Draft Cooksey Campaign To Replace Louisiana David Vitter". BayouBuzz.com. February 27, 2009. Archived from the original on March 1, 2009. Retrieved February 27, 2009.
  7. ^ Blake, Aaron (February 27, 2009). "Louisiana heats up with potential Vitter challenger". The Hill.com.
  8. ^ Church, Glenn (January 26, 2009). "Porn Star To Run Against Vitter In Louisiana Senate Race?". Foolocracy. Retrieved June 14, 2010.
  9. ^ ryan. "And the nominee is ... Stormy Daniels!publisher=Daily Kingfish". Archived from the original on July 8, 2011. Retrieved June 14, 2010.
  10. ^ "Porn Actress Considers Run For La. Senate Seat - New Orleans News Story - WDSU New Orleans". Wdsu.com. February 9, 2009. Archived from the original on September 27, 2011. Retrieved May 5, 2015.
  11. ^ a b "Melancon running against Vitter - The Scorecard". Politico.Com. Retrieved June 14, 2010.
  12. ^ "Blue Dogs - 15 Years of Leadership". House.gov. Archived from the original on June 15, 2010. Retrieved June 14, 2010.
  13. ^ McCollister, Rolfe (October 19, 2010). "Making choices on Nov. 2". Greater Baton Rouge Business Report. p. 6. Archived from the original on October 27, 2010. Retrieved October 26, 2010.
  14. ^ a b "Louisiana Senate Primary Results". Politico. August 28, 2010. Retrieved August 29, 2010.
  15. ^ "GentileForSenator.com". GentileForSenator.com. Archived from the original on June 19, 2010. Retrieved June 14, 2010.
  16. ^ "Randall Todd Hayes US Senate". anti-politician.com. Retrieved June 14, 2010.
  17. ^ Melancon's First TV Ad: 'David Vitter Hasn't Been Honest With Louisiana' (VIDEO) | TPMDC
  18. ^ Melancon Turns Vitter Prostitutution Reenactment Video Into Two-Minute TV Ad (VIDEO) | TPMDC
  19. ^ David Vitter slams Charlie Melancon in new Senate TV ad | NOLA.com
  20. ^ "Louisiana Politics: Vitter Agrees to Second Televised Debate in New Orleans". Archived from the original on March 13, 2012. Retrieved November 1, 2010.
  21. ^ "Vitter, Melancon meet for first debate | wwltv.com | WWL Home Page". Archived from the original on September 14, 2010. Retrieved November 1, 2010.
  22. ^ David Vitter, Charlie Melancon will debate tonight | NOLA.com
  23. ^ "Senate candidates face off for final time on WWL-TV in heated debate | New Orleans News, Local News, Breaking News, Weather | wwltv.com | Political News". Archived from the original on June 22, 2011. Retrieved November 1, 2010.
  24. ^ "Senate". Cook Political Report. Retrieved October 26, 2010.
  25. ^ "Senate Ratings". Rothenberg Political Report. Retrieved October 26, 2010.
  26. ^ "Battle for the Senate". RealClearPolitics. Retrieved October 26, 2010.
  27. ^ "2010 Senate Ratings". Sabato's Crystal Ball. Retrieved October 26, 2010.
  28. ^ "Race Ratings Chart: Senate". CQ Politics. Archived from the original on October 28, 2010. Retrieved October 26, 2010.
  29. ^ "2010 House and Senate Campaign Finance for Louisiana". fec.gov. Retrieved August 22, 2010.[permanent dead link]
  30. ^ "Louisiana - Election Results 2010 - New York Times". New York Times. November 2, 2010. Retrieved November 7, 2010.
  31. ^ "2010 Election Official Results". Louisiana Secretary of State.