How the GOP defeated David Duke in 1991

Back in 1991, Duke finished second to Democrat Edwin Edwards in the state’s multiparty primary. In the ensuing run-off between Duke and Edwards, GOP incumbent Buddy Roemer—the third-place finisher in the primary—endorsed Edwards, not Duke.

More importantly, so did three-quarters of Roemer’s supporters, who were heavily Republican. Many of them detested Edwards, who had faced multiple allegations of corruption and would eventually serve eight years in jail for bribery and extortion. Indeed, six of ten people who voted for Roemer thought that Edwards was a “crook.”

But the vast majority of them voted for Edwards anyway, swayed by the campaign’s most famous bumper sticker: “Vote for the Crook. It’s Important.” Designed by a Roemer supporter who feared a Duke victory, the sticker became so popular that Edwards affixed one to his own car.

Full article in The New Republic.

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