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December 12, 2019, 02:02:00 pm
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  Election What-ifs?
  Past Election What-ifs (US) (Moderators: Kutasoff Hedzoff, Apocrypha)
  1990: David Duke defeats J Bennett Johnston
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coolface1572
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« on: November 06, 2019, 11:05:58 pm »

What would the the US and Louisiana be like if David Duke defeated J Bennett Johnston for the US senate in 1990? He came shockingly close to doing so, winning around 60% of the white vote.
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DINGO Joe
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« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2019, 12:14:16 am »

Well, it's not good that he came as close as he did, but he really didn't come that close.  If you haven't noticed there are quite a few racist hicks in this county.  There probably would have been a movement to not seat him the Senate. 
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voice_of_resistance
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« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2019, 12:20:45 am »

If he was seated, either Landrieu or Johnston again, or maybe one of the Dixiecrat Congressmen would beat him at least 55-45, probably more like 60-40, in 1996. Especially with Clinton doing very well in Louisiana, difficult to see how Louisiana elects Bubba and a white supremacist at the same time.
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connally68
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« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2019, 12:17:29 pm »

That would have been a really sad day for many if Duke won.
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coolface1572
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« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2019, 05:54:28 pm »

Well, it's not good that he came as close as he did, but he really didn't come that close.  If you haven't noticed there are quite a few racist hicks in this county.  There probably would have been a movement to not seat him the Senate. 

He got 43% of the vote while Johnston got 53%, just barely over the threshold to avoid a runoff. Republican Ben Bagert was originally in the race but dropped out due to fear of a runoff with Duke and Johnston.
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Fuzzy Bear
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« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2019, 09:17:43 am »

If that had happened, he'd have not been given committee assignments by the GOP.

Back before the internet, I would call Southern newsrooms during election time to speak to an available political reporter to ask what they thought about various races.  I spoke to a Louisiana political reporter in the 1980s who stated that David Duke could have gotten elected from a Congressional District in Northern Louisiana.  That would have been a different story.  Duke may well have been a Steve King-type figure in the House, and may have cobbled out a career from that. 

The Senate, however, is a different thing.  Duke would have been a guy who could not have brought back any Federal dollars to LA.  He'd have had no real influence in the inside politics world of DC.  Conservatives and Liberals insiders alike wouldn't tolerate THAT.  Had Duke actually been elected, I believe that SOMETHING would have happened to where he would not be able to serve out his entire term.  The pressure for him to quit would have been enormous, and making him a martyr would have been considered "worth it".  He'd have been frozen out in the Senate in ways that would have been hard even for a David Duke to endure.
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Mr.Phips
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« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2019, 10:49:05 am »

Had Dukakis won in 1988, this might have actually happened.
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TheElectoralBoobyPrize
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« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2019, 12:49:18 pm »

How does this happen? Yeah, it's interesting to note that Duke came closer to winning his Senate race than this gubernatorial race, but he still lost pretty badly.

Had Dukakis won in 1988, this might have actually happened.

Had Dukakis won 1988, there would've been a stronger GOP bench in this race.
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Fuzzy Bear
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« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2019, 10:35:33 am »

How does this happen? Yeah, it's interesting to note that Duke came closer to winning his Senate race than this gubernatorial race, but he still lost pretty badly.

Had Dukakis won in 1988, this might have actually happened.

Had Dukakis won 1988, there would've been a stronger GOP bench in this race.

Johnston was a conservative Democratic Senator who was a power within the Democratic Party, and a major asset in Washington for Louisiana's oil and banking industries.  The interests that now support Louisiana's GOP were fine with Johnston, and were not going to allow a pipsqueak like Duke get anywhere near the Senate.

Southern politics was much different in 1988 than it is now.
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