The losses raise questions about Trump's position as he enters into what will be a cruel campaign in 2020. By throwing himself into the three contests – each in states that Trump won with double-digits in 2016 – the president had hoped that gain a modest political momentum at a dangerous moment of his presidency.
Those close to the president claim that he cannot be mistaken for results from Kentucky and Louisiana. Bevin was one of the country's least popular governors, while Rispone was a relatively unknown political newcomer who faced a popular executive in Democratic government John Bel Edwards. While the president can help, they argue, he can't always be expected to pull the wrong candidates over the finish line.
But Trump tried to turn every contest into a referendum on himself ̵
"In two days, I really need you, but you really need you, to send a message to the corrupt Democrats in Washington," he said. "They are corrupt. They are crazy, crazy. "
After Kentucky's defeat, the president admitted, much traveled on Louisiana.
"So, Trump made a loss," the president said, referring to Bevin's defeat. "So you have to give me a big profit, please. OK? OK?" out a stream of tweets save Edwards On Saturday, the president wrote several tweets encouraging Louisians to cast their votes for Rispone.
Trump's political operation also invested heavily, with the Republican National Committee spending $ 2 million on the race. interest in the contest, asked aides and allies about the development.
During an appearance on a Louisiana radio show on Friday, Vice President Mike Pence pointed out that "the president and I have left it all in the field."
Rispone was equal aggressive when he attaches himself to the president, largely passing public appearances in favor of a high-dollar, Trump-centric TV advertising campaign. This summer, he drove places where he proudly declared that he donated to the president in 2016 and even put a Trump bumper sticker on his truck. In the final weeks leading up to the election, he sent ads featuring images of the president ripping Edwards.
The Louisiana defeat intensified concerns from some in the president's orbit that he spent too much political capital on the three off-rally, non-federal races. Some people close to the president were worried that he would take the cause of the loss and that it was an exceptionally high order to win each of the races. Other Republicans were surprised that the president held a last-minute meeting on Thursday night considering that the race was not a sure thing.
Louisiana was particularly difficult despite its conservative slope. Edwards has a record as a sincere conservative Democrat. And critics of Rispon's campaign claim that his confidence in TV ads as opposed to personal events made it very difficult for the president to pull him to victory. Other senior Republicans described a random campaign operation that often seemed to lack a clear message and strategy.
"This loss has nothing to do with President Trump. He was not on the ballot, says Lionel Rainey, a Louisiana-based GOP consultant who worked for Rispon's primary opponent, GOP Rep. Ralph Abraham. “It is up to the candidate to convince the majority of voters to vote for him. Rispones campaign failed to do so. "
" It is not enough to align yourself with another politician, even the president, "Rainey added.
John Couvillon, a Louisiana-based pollster who usually works with Republicans, said that a number of local challenges made Trump's rescue mission tough. Rispone had struggled to win over Abraham's supporters and Edwards succeeded in pushing up minority participation. Couvillon.
Perhaps Trump's biggest challenge was to convince the Louisiana people to strike at Edwards, whom he repeatedly mocked as a "radical liberal." He avoided criticizing the president, choosing instead to highlight the visits he made to the White House during Trump's term in office: At one point this year, Edwards even ran a TV ad promoting an upcoming presidential visit to the state.
Edwards, whom Trump called "the failed leftist" during his Thursday race, gave the president a shout in his victory speech.
"Our shared love for Louisiana is always more important than the partisan differences that sometimes divide us," Edwards told supporters. "And as for the president: God bless his heart."