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Jonathan Bernstein

Democrats Can't Write Off the Last Senate Race

There's a seat still in play in 2016, in Louisiana. Why isn't the party putting up a fight?
It doesn't have to be so red.
Photographer: Win McNamee/Getty Images

 The 2016 elections aren't quite over yet. No, I'm not talking about the millions of ballots still being counted that will eventually lock in Donald Trump's exact Electoral College win while continuing to increase Hillary Clinton's raw vote lead above the 1.2 million where it currently stands, although those are important too. No, I'm talking about the U.S. Senate runoff election in Louisiana, scheduled for Dec. 10.

Louisiana's unusual electoral system features an "all comers" election on Nov. 8, followed by a runoff between the top two finishers, regardless of party. This year, there was no strong favorite for the open senate seat, and Republican State Treasurer John Kennedy and Democratic Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell wound up in the runoff, despite taking only 25 percent and 17 percent of the vote, respectively.