Wednesday, 01 September 2010 16:31
Louisiana GOP, Obama Making Democrats See Red
Written by  {ga=staffwriters}

jeffcrouere_150_200How the mighty have fallen! For much of the state’s history, the Democratic Party has controlled state politics. Today, the party is on the road toward minority status.    

The major figures in Louisiana political history have all been Democrats.. The Long brothers were Democrats and ruled with an iron fist in Baton Rouge. In Washington, the state was represented by powerful Democrats like Russell Long, Allen Ellender, F. Edward Hebert and Hale Boggs.

As the Democratic Party moved toward the left on the national level, the voters of Louisiana gradually turned away from these historical ties. In the last presidential election, John McCain won almost 60 percent of the state’s votes, despite losing nationally by a large margin. Louisiana was one of McCain’s best states and it’s easy to understand why. The displacement of thousands of traditionally Democratic voters after Hurricane Katrina only solidified Louisiana’s status as a red state.  

Currently Louisiana’s congressional delegation has seven Republicans and only two Democrats: U.S. Congressman Charlie Melancon (D-Napoleonville) and U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA). In Baton Rouge, there are seven statewide elected officials and all of them are Republicans except for Attorney General Buddy Caldwell and interim Lt. Governor Scott Angelle. In the upcoming race for Lt. Governor, the four leading candidates are Republicans.  

In the Louisiana Legislature, Democrats still maintain a small margin, but Republicans are making gains with each election and have an opportunity to attain a majority in the next statewide election in 2011. This would mark their first legislative majority since Reconstruction.   

Voter registration is still weighted toward the Democratic Party, but that is changing as more voters become Republicans or Independents. Currently, 51 percent of state voters are registered Democrats, but Republicans now comprise 26 percent and Independents and third party registrants total 23 percent. The voter registration advantage for Democrats in Louisiana has been shrinking for decades. For example, in September of 2000, 61 percent of statewide voters were registered Democrats, while only 22 percent of voters were Republicans and 17 percent were Independents or third party candidates.. In a mere ten years, the advantage for Democrats over Republicans in Louisiana has shrunk from 39 percent to only 25 percent.  

Except for African Americans, new voters tend to register Republican or Independent. As older white Democratic voters die, they are being replaced by voters not as loyal to the party of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. In addition, many of the older voters who are registered Democrats tend to be politically conservative and vote Republican in most state and federal elections. Independents also lean more toward the Republican Party, according to recent poll data.   

All of these trends are leading toward a very uncomfortable electoral season for the Democratic Party in Louisiana. While the party still retains the loyalty of African American voters, white voters are leaving the Democrats in huge numbers.

In this upcoming election, look for all GOP candidates to link their Democrat opponents with the unpopular policies of President Obama. It has certainly worked for David Vitter who is the big favorite against Charlie Melancon in this fall’s U.S. Senate election.

Vitter’s advantage was on display in Saturday’s election. In the predominantly Democratic 2nd congressional district, turnout was an anemic seven percent of eligible voters. Throughout the state, 207,289 votes were cast and almost 50 percent were Republicans, even though only 26 percent of registered voters in Louisiana are members of the GOP.  

In Louisiana and across the nation, Democrats have been unable to match the excitement level of Republican voters. Traditionally, the party in control of the White House and Congress will lose seats in mid-term election, but the turnover this year may be greater than normal. In the latest nationwide Gallup poll, Republicans lead Democrats by a 51 to 41 percent margin in the generic congressional ballot. According to the Gallup polling organization, the 10 percentage point lead is the GOP’s largest in the “history of tracking the midterm generic ballot for Congress.”

In a conservative state like Louisiana, the challenge for Democrats is even greater. On Saturday, in the Senate primaries, more people voted for David Vitter than Charlie Melancon, even though Democrats allowed Independents to vote in their primary and approximately 75 percent of voters were eligible to participate.  

In the fall elections, Democratic candidates will need to maintain the intensity and loyalty of African American voters, while trying to distance themselves as much as possible from President Obama. This political hat trick will be a difficult one to accomplish, which is why most pollsters believe this election season will be a good one for the Republican Party in the red state of Louisiana.

Jeff Crouere is a native of New Orleans, LA and he is the host of a Louisiana based program, “Ringside Politics,” which airs at 7:30 p.m. Fri. and 10:00 p.m. Sun. on WLAE-TV 32, a PBS station, and 7 till 11 a.m.weekdays on WGSO 990 AM in New Orleans and the Northshore. For more information, visit his web site at E-mail him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Login to post comments
  • Cat Fights on the Hot Cement Confederate New Orleans statues
  • Ex-Saints, Bears, Bills, NFL Exec, Jim W. Miller discusses NFL Draft tomorrow
  • Trump's new plan; Curtains on tax returns release; 40% say Trump-Russia; Probing Obama admin
  • Watch Louisiana Governor Edwards talk about CAT Tax failure

catRarely, have I seen few issues that have generated as much raw heat, tension, and passion than the Confederate monuments controversy. 

Just as existed during the real civil war, where brothers battled brothers, social media is the battleground, particularly Facebook, pitting friend against friend.

On one side of the tense divide, there are those who are protecting the New Orleans civil war era monuments.  Burnt in effigy, forever, is the symbol of Mayor Mitch Landrieu for up-ending what the monument protectors consider to be the loving civil society of New Orleans.

Lately, events have turned somewhat militaristic.

Some protectors of the Confederate monuments have been staying vigilant, in person and online, even surveilling during the wee hours of the morning, waiting for the next Mayor Landrieu attack. On Sunday morning, with protections of snipers, masked workers and a dumbstruck audience, the worst of all of the monuments was cut and carried., the Liberty Monument. 

Read More

miller nfl live2 5It’s D-Day or Draft Day tomorrow in the NFL.

More specifically, Thursday represents the first day of the NFL draft 2017.

Read More


trump curtainsThe major President Trump news of the day focuses upon taxes, not only the tax cuts he is proposing but his own taxes, which he obviously, refuses to unveil.


Read More

edwards play money 1

At a press conference today, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said the CAT Tax did not pass the House Ways and Means Committee.  The Governor, in addressing the media said that "the fate of that bill was decided long before we unveiled it".

Read More


Sen. Appel talks budget, economy


Dead Pelican

Optimized-DeadPelican2 1 1