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Louisiana Politics: Lt. Governor, Congress and Vitter Vs. Melancon Races
Written by  {ga=staffwriters} // Wednesday, 06 October 2010 14:22 //

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Louisiana Election Season is in full speed ahead.

On Monday, Jeff Crouere and Bernie Pinsonat answered my questions regarding the Saturday’s statewide elections and its impact upon the November contests.

Here are my responses to the last three questions I submitted to Crouere and Pinsonat:

What impact, if any do you believe the Lt. Governor’s election will have on the US Senate race and the other Congressional races?

Since the Lt. Governor’s election pits a democrat (Caroline Fayard) against a republican (Jay Dardenne), it is fair to state that the contest for the 2nd in command for state government will certainly have an impact upon the national elections but the real issue is whether the Lt. Governor’s contest will make a difference in the Louisiana elections for US Senate and Congress?

Without doubt, the state race should bring more people to the voting booth.  But, will the democrats be able to generate enthusiasm among its traditional base and within independent voters to be competitive?

Keep in mind, on Saturday, republican candidates received approximately 200,000 votes than democratic candidates for Lt. Governor.

Even for a short period of time before Katrina, but especially afterwards, the democrats have been unable to get its base to vote.  An exception was for the Lt. Governor’s bid with Mitch Landrieu, the Attorney General race in favor of Buddy Caldwell and the 2008 re-election in favor of Senator Mary Landrieu.

Also, in 2008 when Obama belted McCain, he lost badly in Louisiana which shows the very conservative bonafides of the state.

Which raises the question, why should democratic voters come out in much greater numbers now than in 2008 when the first black person  could be elected president and when the blues dominated the reds nationally?

Again, I admit, Fayard definitely surprised me this Saturday with her ability to get out the vote and she certainly could do so again come November, but even if she does, will her presence help Charlie Melancon overcome what seems to be a significant polling advantage in favor of David Vitter.

We shall see.

Any early predictions in the 3rd Congressional District election?

Ravi Sangisetty (D) and Jeff Landry (R) will be fighting it out in the lower third.  Landry, right now is the favored candidate.  While it is too early to predict, Landry has made a stunning performance in blasting a very seasoned politician and widely known, by an almost 2-1 margin.  Landry got out the conservative vote in an already rather conservative where many voters are upset at President Obama’s moratorium.

What about the other Congressional races?

The main competitive race is Congressman Joseph Cao against Louisiana representative Cedric Richmond.

President Obama endorsed Richmond at a time when many democrats across the nation would rather not get such as a presidential favor.  The district is predominately African American as is Richmond.  Although blacks went for Mitch Landrieu for Mayor, Cao is a republican in a district in which Cao bested a wounded William Jefferson at a time when the voters’s antipathy towards the former Congressman was greater than the voter’s sympathy and when many voters were either somewhat confused or apathetic (or both) regarding the existence of an election giving Cao a very surprising victory.

KERSHAW FOR DARDENNE?

I just received a press release from Jay Dardenne’s campaign that he will be in Lafayette tomorrow for a special news conference.

Certainly, Dardenne could be picking up some endorsements from republicans and even some democrats in Southwest Louisiana, but possibly one of the biggest fish would one would seem to me to be from fellow republican  Sammy Kershaw who picked up over 126,000 votes placing third in the Lt. Governor’s race this past Saturday.   So, I am betting that tomorrow, singer Kershaw and Dardenne will be standing side-by-side strumming an announcement.

US SENATE ELECTION

Today, a very popular figure down in South Louisiana has asked voters to support David Vitter for US Senator.

In a statement, Plaquemines Parish President, Billy Nungesser, at home fresh from the BP War in the Gulf has said, “I'm Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser, and I want you to know that what Charlie Melancon is saying about David Vitter and the oil disaster is a load of "you know what."

I'm endorsing David Vitter for U.S. Senate, and so are Democrats and Republicans all along the coast.

David Vitter worked around the clock to help provide leadership during the disaster.

David Vitter authored emergency legislation to hold BP fully accountable for all of the damages without limit. And he fought the Obama bureaucracy for more boom and to get our barrier island plan moving.

Please join me in voting for David Vitter for U.S. Senate on November 2.”

Obviously, Nungesser is referring to Charlie Melancon’s recent television commercial blasting Vitter for cap liability legislation during the “BP war”.

According to a Melancon press release “The 30 second ad, titled "The Difference," contrasts Vitter's efforts to bail out BP in the aftermath of the BP oil disaster and contrasts it with Melancon's positive record of putting Louisiana recovery and cleanup first.

Here is the Melancon ad:

by Stephen Sabludowsky, Publisher of Bayoubuzz.com

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