Ad Wars: LA Gubernatorial Runoff


The Louisiana gubernatorial race came to a head on Saturday between incumbent Governor John Bel Edwards and Republican candidates Eddie Rispone and Representative Ralph Abraham. No one candidate was able to secure a majority, so there will be a Runoff Election between the top two candidates: Bel Edwards and Rispone. Since the October 12 election, Bel Edwards and Rispone have both started airing new broadcast ads for the Runoff.

Louisiana Gubernatorial Runoff: Spending and Creative Analysis

The Bel Edwards campaign wasted no time after their near miss, spending upwards of $77,000 on a single broadcast ad Tuesday, October 15. This is the highest spend on the first air date of a single ad in the history of his campaign. The spot has run on 28 stations from the top 7 markets in the state, with the majority airing during Early Morning and Daytime programming. The spending for this ad has hit $148,000 and is still climbing.

Governor Bel Edwards has aired exclusively positive ads so far, despite spending more on broadcast advertising (more than $5.5 million) than both of his opponents combined, citing economic improvements he has made while in office through bipartisan cooperation.

This ad for the Runoff Election, however, is as close to a negative ad as the Governor’s campaign has run since the beginning of the race. Bel Edwards calls out Rispone by name and claims his opponent is a threat to the current economic growth of Louisiana, saying voters have “a choice to make.” This could indicate a turn toward a more direct approach for John Bel Edwards.

His only opponent in the Runoff Election, Eddie Rispone, has run partisan ads from the very beginning, spending just under $3.8 million. His campaign has touted his unwavering support for the President’s policies and his identity as a Christian and businessman to position Rispone as a “conservative outsider” in contrast to career politician opponents. His messaging has focused on identity and helped secure nearly one third of the voters in the primary election.

Since the Runoff was triggered, Rispone’s campaign has gone on the attack, running three new ads on Wednesday, October 16, one of which shows footage of President Trump calling for Louisiana voters to“vote Bel Edwards out.” So far, the Rispone campaign has booked $358,000 in broadcast ads for 10/16-10/21.

The Runoff Election will be held November 16, 2019.

Please note, the data in this post is current as of 2:30pm Eastern Time on Thursday, October 17, 2019.

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