Counter Narrative

There was an upset win in the runoff to fill the vacant seat in Louisiana’s 5th Congressional District last night. Jindal-backed favorite and party regular state Sen. Neil Riser (R) was defeated by newcomer Vance McAllister (R). In national political terms this sounds like a bit of a yawner since this was a run-off between two Republicans. But there’s a big element of the result that runs counter to the current political narrative on ‘Obamacare’.

Though both candidates oppose ‘Obamacare’, during a debate a couple weeks ago, McAllister said he supported opting into Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion provision, something Gov. Jindal and Riser have stoutly opposed. “I think we have to expand Medicaid,” said McAllister in response to the debate’s first question. “One in five people in our district is uninsured, which is among the highest rates in the nation.”

Not surprisingly, Riser’s campaign hit McAllister hard on the issue, portraying him as a ‘soft’ on Obamacare. And yet McAllister won by a big margin.

Now there are other issues at play possibly – general anti-insider sentiment, McAllister’s endorsement by a home town reality TV star.

It was also a general election run-off. So Democrats were voting too. And this is one of the poorest districts in the country with one of the highest rates of people without insurance.

With all that said though, Riser hit McAllister hard as a crypto-supporter of Obamacare and this was seen going into last night’s vote as the defining issue in the race. And McAllister won handily.

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest Edblog
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriters:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: