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Candidates giving last-minute push for votes

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Incumbent Sen. David Vitter, R-La., right, and Louisiana senatorial candidate, Rep. Charlie Melancon, D-La., each met with voters on Monday in hopes of further raising support. prepare for the start of their debate at the WWL television studios in New Orleans, Thursday, Oct. 28, 2010. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

By Mike Hasten

BATON ROUGE — Candidates for U.S. Senate and lieutenant governor are wrapping up their campaigns today and making plans for celebrations.

But only half of them will be celebrating tonight.

Television and radio ads will do the talking today as the candidates return home to vote, meet with supporters and later retire to hotel rooms to watch returns.

Election prognosticators have said weather could be a factor and with all-day rains predicted across the state, turnout is likely to be lower than it would be on a sunny day. The Secretary of the State’s Office had predicted 30 percent to 35 percent turnout with good weather.

Pearson Cross, UL political science department head, said bad weather historically has affected turnout by Democratic voters more than Republicans.

He said turnout and how Sammy Kershaw supporters vote will be keys to the lieutenant governor’s race.

“Kershaw had a plurality in 31 parishes in the primary, but it was only 19 percent of the vote,” Cross said. “They’re rural voters, likely to be conservative Democrats, who won’t necessarily warm up to an urbane Baton Rouge politician like Jay Dardenne. They could opt for a political newcomer like Caroline Fayard.”

In the Senate race, Republican incumbent U.S. Sen. David Vitter of Metairie met with voters Monday pushing his message of reduced spending, tax cuts and combating the Obama administration in preparation for Election Day.

Today, he is scheduled to be waving signs, making phone bank calls and knocking on doors in various locations around southeast Louisiana.

Vitter’s celebration party is being held at the Airport Hilton in Kenner.

Democratic challenger U.S. Rep. Charlie Melancon of Napoleonville wrapped up his “Louisiana Deserves Better” tour Monday with stops in Shreveport, Monroe, Alexandria, Baton Rouge and New Orleans discussing his small business background, veterans’ issues, his job creation plan, education and the importance of voting.

He’s in New Orleans for three stops today before coming to Baton Rouge for his election night gathering at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Baton Rouge.

Political analysts Elliott Stonecipher of Shreveport and Cross agree that Vitter is likely to win re-election to his second term.

Written by demon53

November 2, 2010 at 3:28 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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