Six months ago, most observers of Louisiana politics would have argued that Republican Sen. David Vitter would not hit the 50 percent of the vote he needed in Saturday’s all-party primary to avoid a November 21 run-off, but that the run-off would simply be a formality. As evidence, they would point to last year’s run-off between then-GOP U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy and then-Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu. As Saturday’s election drew closer, it became apparent that Vitter was not in an especially strong position. There were two other credible Republicans in the race, Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle and Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, both of whom presented more than respectable alternatives to voters who didn’t want to vote for Vitter. The lone Democrat – state House Minority Leader John Bel Edwards – was largely ignored by the three Republicans until the last month of the race. Edwards consolidated the Democratic vote, finishing first with 40 percent. Vitter finished second (and finish first among the Republicans), earning the other run-off spot, but he got just 23 percent of the vote, while

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