Trump calls on Republicans to vote out Democratic Louisiana governor amid GOP infighting

Trump calls on Republicans to vote out Democratic Louisiana governor amid GOP infighting
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP senators balk at lengthy impeachment trial Warren goes local in race to build 2020 movement 2020 Democrats make play for veterans' votes MORE on Tuesday called on Louisiana Republicans to vote out their Democratic governor amid rising concerns that GOP infighting could cost the party an opportunity to flip the seat in the ruby red state.

The call comes less than two weeks before Louisiana’s Oct. 12 gubernatorial election in which Republicans Ralph Abraham and Eddie Rispone are maneuvering for a second-place finish behind Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards to force a November runoff.

Republicans fear that sniping between Abraham and Rispone could deliver an outright majority for Edwards and hand him a second term.

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“REPUBLICANS of Louisiana, it is really important for you to go out and vote on October 12th for either Eddie Rispone or Ralph Abraham (both Great), which will lead to a runoff against a  Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOvernight Health Care: Trump officials making changes to drug pricing proposal | House panel advances flavored e-cig ban | Senators press FDA tobacco chief on vaping ban Speaker Pelosi, it's time to throw American innovators a lifeline Why Americans must tune in to the Trump impeachment hearings MORE/Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerOvernight Health Care: Trump officials making changes to drug pricing proposal | House panel advances flavored e-cig ban | Senators press FDA tobacco chief on vaping ban Chad Wolf becomes acting DHS secretary Schumer blocks drug pricing measure during Senate fight, seeking larger action MORE Democrat (John Bel Edwards), who does nothing but stymie all of the things we are doing to Make America Great Again,” Trump tweeted Tuesday. 

“Don’t be fooled, John Bel Edwards will NEVER be for us. Early voting has already started!”

Edwards won his first term in 2015 by about 12 points over scandal-plagued Republican David VitterDavid Bruce VitterRed-state governor races put both parties on edge Louisiana Republicans score big legislative wins Trump calls on Republicans to vote out Democratic Louisiana governor amid GOP infighting MORE, who had been connected to a D.C. woman who was convicted of running a prostitution service.

The GOP is hoping to put up a strong challenge in the state, which voted for President Trump by about 20 points in 2016.

Still, ongoing barbs traded between Abraham and Rispone have sparked Republican concerns that neither candidate will perform well enough in next week’s election to spark a runoff.

Rispone hammered Abraham in an attack ad last month, and Abraham fired back this week with a new video calling his opponent “desperate” and telling voters, “Eddie Rispone is lying to you.”

Edwards, meanwhile, has doubled down on his separation from some of the national party’s platforms, touting his pro-Second Amendment and anti-abortion stances.

While no Democratic governor has won two consecutive terms since the mid 1970s, the incumbent is confident he can prevail even if there is a runoff next month.

“If the election were held today, there would not be [a runoff],” Edwards told Politico. “But it’s not today. It’s still October the 12th.”

“I like the movement I have seen in the last week or so in the polls,” he added. “And either we’re going to win on October 12th, or we’re going to come extremely close.”

The Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan election handicapper, rates the race as leaning Democratic.