On Saturday, October 12th, Louisianans will head to the polls in their jungle primary election to decide the next Governor of Louisiana. If no candidate receives the required 50% of the vote, the two candidates with the most votes will advanced to the “general election” that falls on November 16th. National Republican and Democratic groups, including the DGA and RGA, have their sights set on the state’s highest office, so it is no surprise that this election has received an influx of spending. With so much riding on the primary vote, $31.5M in total has been spent on advertising for the race. Spending by both parties has been relatively equal with Republicans spending $16.2M and Democrats spending $15.3M.
Eddie Rispone, a private businessman, is the highest spending Republican advertiser in the race with total expenditures of $8.3M. Rispone’s spending has been focused overwhelmingly on broadcast with $5.7M in ads. The other Republican candidate, Ralph Abraham, the current congressman from Louisiana’s 5th Congressional District, has spent a total of $2.1M throughout the election.
There are also active Republican interest groups and PACs in the mix. RGA Right Direction PAC has spent $4.6M on the message of ousting John Bel Edwards. Truth in Politics, another Anti-Bel Edwards, group has spent $853K. And the group Securing Louisiana’s Future has spent a total of $380K in support of the Ralph Abraham.
Louisiana’s incumbent governor, and sole Democratic candidate John Bel Edwards, is the biggest spender of the primary election. His reelection advertising campaign has spent $8.6M. Most of his spending has occurred on broadcast where he has spent $5.7M, and he has spent $1.7M on cable.
Edwards has received support from outside groups as well. Gumbo PAC and Rebuild Louisiana have spent a combined total of $6.8M throughout the primary to support his campaign.
October 12th will decide which candidate and what advertisers have pushed the most effective message to Louisiana voters. Should no candidate win 50% of the vote, we’ll expect continued substantial spending in the run up to the November 16th general.