Louisiana is actually relevant this year in the Republican primary contest. We vote on Saturday, March 5th and we’re the first primary after Super Tuesday.
Louisiana is shaping up to be a battle between Ted Cruz and Donald Trump. Cruz has picked up much of the old Jindal machine and is building support among the vital Evangelicals. Meanwhile, Trump is looking to capitalize on his overall popularity to do better than expected in Louisiana.
To start, Trump has begun building a team. His state co-chairs were announced today. They are East Baton Rouge Republican Party chairman Woody Jenkins and Public Service Commissioner Eric Skrmetta. Both guys were previously linked to the Cruz campaign. Jenkins still has pull among Evangelicals in this state.
Ryan Lambert, who is serving as the Trump state director, was involved with Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser’s successful race last year. Before that, he won the Congressional seat for Garrett Graves. Lambert’s record speaks for itself.
Beyond that, Team Trump is a little beyond the 8 ball. However, they definitely have room to grow in the next couple of months. Team Trump’s Louisiana Facebook page has over 3,000 likes. Cruz’s Louisiana Facebook page only has a little over 1800 likes in comparison. But there are more Cruz volunteer events and groups on Facebook than Trump ones.
Trump has a strong fan base in this state. For example, there were plenty of Louisianians that attended his rally in Biloxi earlier this month. Given the economic views of many Louisiana Republicans, Trump’s message has some appeal.
But Louisiana is ultimately going to be a two person race. Those two are Ted Cruz and Donald Trump. It’s clear Cruz has the better campaign, but Trump has plenty of room to grow.