Sen. David Vitter cruises to easy victory in primary

By Aaron Blake, The Washington Post

Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) scored a resounding victory in his primary Saturday, overcoming a 2007 prostitution scandal and cruising to a huge victory over former state Supreme Court Justice Chet Traylor.

In the other state holding a primary Saturday, West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin (D) has won his party’s nomination for a special Senate election in November, leaving the governor as the odds-on favorite to take the seat held for 51 years by the late Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D).

In Louisiana, Vitter will move on to the general election, where he will face Rep. Charlie Melancon (D). Melancon also had a wide lead in early returns and has been projected as the winner of the Democratic primary.

Ever since Vitter admitted to a “very serious sin” with a prostitute in 2007, his fate in this year’s GOP primary has been a subject of much speculation. Traylor entered the race with a proven ability to win statewide (Louisiana Supreme Court justices run for their posts), but he soon succumbed to his own personal problems and never came close to competing with the incumbent financially.

Vitter led Traylor 87 percent to 8 percent with 37 percent of precincts reporting.

Democrats still think they can beat Vitter in November, thanks to his personal baggage and Melancon’s centrist profile. Vitter remains one of two targeted Senate Republicans.

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