As expected, both Sen. David Vitter and Rep. Charlie Melancon easily survived their primary elections to set up their showdown in November. The details, however, can be spun by both camps to fit their narratives.
Charlie Melancon needs for the election to be seen as close, so that people don’t give up on his candidacy. With over 99% of the precincts reporting now, Melancon has recieved 75,752 votes to Vitter’s 84,929. That means that, of the people who voted today, Vitter won the two-person race by a 53%-47% margin — a much closer total than recent polls have suggested.
On the other hand, Vitter got 88% of the vote in the GOP primary against two minor opponents, while Melancon only got 70% in the Democratic primary, also against two minor opponents. That suggests that a large number of registered Democrats cast “protest” votes against Melancon, and that those same Democrats will likely support David Vitter in the general election. So Vitter’s vote total would likely have been much higher if our GOP primary was open so that all could vote in it