Louisiana re-elected its Democratic governor, John Bel Edwards, on Saturday, November 16th, defeating Trump-backed Republican challenger Eddie Rispone. The defeat is a substantial blow to the president following the loss of another Republican governor in Kentucky last month.
The setback comes during one of the most fraught weeks in Trump's presidency as the House of Representatives staged the probe's first public hearings. It also followed Trump's three visits to the state to support Louisiana businessman Republican challenger Eddie Rispone.
Incumbent Governor John Bel Edwards won by a narrow margin, with 51.3% of the vote. Rispone ended the night with 48.7%, according to the New York Times.
Edwards said in his victory speech that "our shared love for Louisiana is always more important than the partisan differences that sometimes divide us."
Meanwhile, Rispone conceded the governor's race, telling a crowd of supporters, "We have nothing to be ashamed of. We had over 700,000 people in Louisiana really want something better and something different.
"Can we give President Trump a round of applause… That man loves America, and he loves Louisiana. He came down here three times specifically to try to help us," Rispone said
This is the second Democratic gubernatorial victory in a red state this month, coming after a Democratic victory in Kentucky. Republican Governor Matt Bevin failed in his bid last week, with Democrat Andy Beshear winning after a nail-biting contest.
Trump described the contest in Louisiana as a proxy for the wider Democrat-Republican struggle ahead of the 2020 presidential election.
"If you want to defend our values, our jobs, and your freedom, then you need to replace radical liberal John Edwards," he said.
In a speech in Bossier City last Thursday November 14th, Trump labelled his Democratic opponents "maniacs" and a "bunch of mad people," stating that Louisiana is "not going to let them destroy our country and rob your children of their future."
In 2016, Trump won Louisiana with 58% of the vote and the state has not elected a Democrat president since Bill Clinton in 1996.