Last month, in the general election for this seat triggered by its early surrender by current Louisiana Department of Veterans’ Affairs Secretary Rodney Alexander, the majority of voters, mirroring the district’s demographics, chose candidates that held themselves out as conservatives on all issues. However, the majority of them split between the leading vote-getter, state Sen. Neil Riser, who despite having served only six years in the Legislature as his sole elective office was seen as the most establishmentarian candidate, and the one behind him but ahead of all others Vance McAllister, who many saw as the most outside of politics with no elective experience at all. Fueling these perceptions were the vast number of endorsements from other elected officials and influential organizations that Riser received, while McAllister drew support from populist, politically inexperienced sources such as area reality television stars.
As both had run as conservatives, differing impercetibly on issues, this crude “insider/outsider” cleavage served as the only real distinction to a large swath of the electorate. And given that, the numbers from that initial contest, no doubt supplemented by polling done by both Riser, who has pulled in large funding from across state and country, and McAllister, who almost exclusively funded his own campaign to match Riser dollar for dollar, showed that Riser had the advantage, and that a lot of things would have to go wrong for him and/or right for McAllister for Riser not to win the runoff – if that dynamic held.