(The Daily Advertiser) – Expect the negative attack ads to get dirtier and more frequent in the U.S. Senate race heading in the final two weeks before election day, UL political science professor Christie Maloyed told the Acadiana Press Club Monday.
Guest speakers Maloyed of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and Jeremy Alford, publisher and editor of LaPolitics.com and LaPolitics Weekly, dissected the U.S. Senate race with 24 candidates and the 3rd Congressional District race with 12 candidates.
Sen. David Vitter, R-Metairie, is not seeking re-election. Dr. Charles Boustany, R-Lafayette, is vacating his 3rd Congressional District seat to run for Vitter’s senate seat.
Already, Maloyed said, a lot of money is going into negative campaigning because it’s effective. As election day approaches, “I think we’ll be seeing people going negative much more harshly.”
People say they dislike attack ads, Alford said, “but we all can’t wait to see them.” It appears opposition research wins elections, he said.
Some candidates already are running weird ads, like a John Kennedy (R-Madisonville) ad about a goat, to which opponent Boustany responded with a news release, Alford said.
In the most recent debate, Maloyed said, there were no surprises, no gaffs or high points to set candidates on fire or to implode their campaigns.
The final debate is scheduled Nov. 2., less than a week before the Nov. 8 election. Candidates with at least 5 percent support in the latest Raycom Media poll were invited to participate. They include Republicans Boustany, Kennedy, John Fleming, and longtime white supremacist David Duke, as well as Democrats Foster Campbell and Caroline Fayard.
Alford said the argument can be made that if Duke were not in the race, Republican Rob Maness might have qualified for the final debate.
Campbell is pulling away from Fayard in the race for the Democratic votes, he said.
“If (Campbell) maintains what he’s doing now, it looks promising that he could make the runoff,” Maloyed said. Campbell was second in the Raycom Media poll and Fayard is pulling television ads in some markets, including Lafayette and Shreveport, she added.
In the 3rd Congressional District race, Maloyed said, Scott Angelle (R-Breaux Bridge) has the greatest name recognition and widespread support. But with popular reality TV star and anti-Washington presidential candidate Donald Trump a likely shoe-in to carry the Louisiana vote, another reality TV star, Republican Clay Higgins shouldn’t be counted out in the 3rd Congressional District race, she said.