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« Koizumi Wins Mandate For Reform. | WILLisms.com | Quotational Therapy: Part 44 -- Eugene Debs. »

Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 167 -- Mary Landrieu's 2008 Hopes.

The Louisiana Democratic Political Machine May Be In Trouble-


"If Sen. Mary Landrieu were as good at busing black people to safety as she was at busing them to the polls to vote, none of them would have died."

In 2002, Republicans across the country made significant gains in Congress, even in traditionally Democratic bastions such as Minnesota. But not in Louisiana, a state that has been trending away from the Democrats for the past several years. Mary Landrieu defeated Republican Suzanne Terrell in a run-off election a month after the nationwide November GOP surge.


Well, Louisiana politics are messed up. There's no other way to put it. There were 8 Republicans on the general election ballot in 2002, and in the general election, GOP candidates garnered 51% of the vote.

Thus, a run-off election (which nearly happened again in 2004 with Republican David Vitter's narrow election win).

In the run-off election, Mary Landrieu drove up turnout in heavily African-American areas of New Orleans, while turnout elsewhere in the state fell (because there was no national election happening to keep the interest of folks who were not specifically targeted for massive GOTV efforts).

More on the unfortunate December 2002 runoff race that sent Senator Landrieu to Washington:

...just one month ago, Landrieu had looked poised to lose the election after slogging through an unimpressive primary showing. But her shift in strategy during the last few weeks succeeded in bringing her base to the polls the second time around -- and contains some worthwhile lessons for Democrats looking to rebound from November's debacle.

In Saturday's runoff against Republican Elections Commissioner Suzanne Terrell, turnout in New Orleans -- where a large number of Louisiana's black, and largely Democratic, voters reside -- increased by 4 percentage points even as overall statewide turnout decreased by the same margin.

Winning Orleans Parish by a 4-to-1 ratio, Landrieu carried the day with 52 percent of the vote to Terrell's 48 percent. With a decisive 40,000-vote victory, she topped her 1996 performance, when she squeaked by Republican Woody Jenkins by a margin of less than 6,000 votes.

Susan Howell, a professor at the University of New Orleans, credited the city in which she teaches and its large African-American community for Landrieu's victory. "If you take out Orleans Parish," she said, "Terrell would have been elected."

Pundits all over the country are making assertions about Katrina's likely negative electoral effects for the Republican Party. They are wrong.

Texas, with our 20-something million people, can absorb hundreds of thousands of Democrats and hardly miss a beat. Meanwhile, if merely tens of thousands of New Orleans residents choose to settle in Houston or Dallas or elsewhere and not to return to the city between now and 2008 (a high likelihood), Mary Landrieu is done. For that matter, Democrats running in statewide elections in Louisiana will be done.

But what about the angry public, the nation over?

Well, don't count on that. People in West Virginia or Tennessee or Florida are not going to rise up, more than a year from now, in electoral anger, directed at the GOP.

And threats from the African-American community to vote straight-Democratic after Katrina ring hollow. Blacks (and white liberals, who would be the only other group outraged by the alleged lack of response to Katrina) already do vote almost unanimously for Democrats.

And Republicans still win elections.


The American Prospect magazine.


Video of Landrieu losing her mind:


She knows how much political trouble she has ahead.

Oh, she knows.


Previous Trivia Tidbit: U.S. Corps of Engineers Funding, Louisiana.

Posted by Will Franklin · 12 September 2005 09:39 AM


I just heard that Michael Moore wants to cash in on the Katrina Disaster! I am sure it will be in typical liberal hate monger Michael Moore fashion... Whatever will the Liberal idiots think of next???

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at September 12, 2005 11:31 AM

The loss of population in heavily Democratic New Orleans is bad news for many Democrats. Not only did Landrieu win in a very close race, Governor Blanco was elected in a similar fashion, by similar margins in 2003.

And of course Mayor Nagin changed party affiliation from Republican to Democrat when he was elected in 2002.

Nagin, who endorsed Republican Jindal in the Gubernatorial race (interesting twists there) is up for re-election in seven months. (if he runs again)

A few months later, the mid-term house races will be on the ballot. The two Democrats from Louisiana are from -- you guessed it -- New Orleans.

Blanco is on the ballot in 2007.

The politics of Katrina will be very interesting in Louisiana for several years.

Posted by: Capitol Junkie at September 12, 2005 02:05 PM

I would not count on these displaced Democrats voting the Democrat ticket blindly in the future.

For the mostpart those who get out of shelters will be situated in better neighborhood, get better jobs, and in general move into a better standard of living than they fled from.

Couple that with the leadership in many of these areas being Republican, and it does not take an idiot to see that something is wrong with what the Democrats have been promising them for years, and what the Republicans appear to have delivered in their new hometowns.

Will everyone think this way, definately not, but some will. Many more that the total that might be tempted to switch to the Democrats, especially once investigations point to those really ot blame for this tragedy.

Posted by: Fred Fry at September 12, 2005 08:20 PM

While you're carping about New Orleans being responsible for keeping Republicans from their rightful boon of offices, keep in mind that without New Orleans, there ain't squat to Louisiana but a bunch of little backwater towns. New Orleans is the economy of Louisiana, and it is the major population area of the state. Republicans get a majority of state legistature seats, they've won the governor's office several times in the past couple of decades (happily, not the time the GOP saw fit to run former KKK wiz and Nazi party member David Duke; does that put a kink in your little GOP party hat?, and they win seats in the U.S. Congress as well. Are you arguing there should be no Democrats holding office in Louisiana? That it's only through dastardly, underhanded means by awful liberals in New Orleans that Democrats win any offices?

Bobby Jindal is smart enough to realize that this population shift isn't good for Louisiana; I'm glad to see he's wise enough to see past these stupid partisan chess games you're playing. Less population means less representation in the Congress. All districts affected by the hurricane will suffer, not just New Orleans.

Posted by: Beth at September 15, 2005 12:11 AM

...less population means less representation in Congress after the next Census, which will be in 2010.

That's an eternity and a half to the people in the House of Representatives. Not worth worrying about.

Posted by: rosignol at September 15, 2005 06:32 AM

David Duke - as opposed to former KKKer Robert Byrd. Which one actually made to Congress? Which party is he a member of? Oh, right.

Personally, I don't like the Republicans. They do dumb things, and they hold dumb positions on things.

But "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" - and the Democrats are definitely my enemy. It's not about how WONDERFUL the Republicans are (becuase they AREN'T); it's about how terrible the Democrats are.

Posted by: Deoxy at September 15, 2005 01:59 PM