Tuesday, 11 November 2014 13:49
Vance "Kissing Congressman" McAllister was no glorious leader
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 vance-mcallisterThus ends ignominiously Louisiana’s Fifth Congressional District’s year-long infatuation with Rep. Vance McAllister, although he parted company with his constituents through one more demonstration of the insufferable ego that was his downfall.


In remarks given after it was painfully clear he would not return to Congress, finishing a distant fourth last week in his reelection bid behind Monroe Democrat Mayor Jamie Mayo and Republican Dr. Ralph Abraham, he immediately offered his services to both to instruct them in the ways of Washington, as well as to vet them in order to compete for his endorsement.

Which should carry about as much weight as North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un’s endorsement of the video game about his exploits “Glorious Leader.” If Abraham is not laughing at the hubris of the incumbent who carried 11 percent of the vote, this low total caused by his throwing away of a secure seat in getting caught playing tongue hockey with a married staffer not his wife and who then reneged on a promise not to run again, in saying Abraham should get his stamp of approval, Abraham should be guffawing at his advice that Washington was dysfunctional unless there were elected “real people with common sense.” Like the guy who as soon as he gets elected cheats on his wife, right?

Actually, rather than mirth, Abraham might harbor suspicion towards McAllister, who sagaciously seems to have no end to his willingness to dispense advice to those unwashed that drubbed him at the ballot box, saying that Abraham really should have a nice chat with him about how Abraham is deluded in thinking he can make promises that lead to accomplishments on Capitol Hill. A modern day Brutus, McAllister seems not to understand that the fault is not in the stars but in himself: if he can’t turn what he thought were campaign pledges into actions and accomplishment, that speaks far more to the inherent limitations specific to McAllister than to any general rule in the world of politics.

Only somebody full of himself thinks those who stomped him in the contest should queue for his endorsement and that words of wisdom from a washed-up politician resoundingly rejected by voters are necessary to correct the impressions of someone whose governing philosophy was found far more attractive by them. But Mayo actually might play along, out of a sense of obligation because he endorsed McAllister last year at this time during the special election that launched McAllister on his path to eventual political oblivion, and also because he doesn’t stand a chance of winning and every vote helps if he is to pull off the impossible.

The ever-sagacious McAllister seems to think it possible, assuring the wider world that Mayo, running in a heavily Republican district, is “a very conservative Democrat. He's not a liberal like those attacks say.” Whether voters believe that is another matter, a data analysis demonstrates.

In the Fifth District, there are 200 non-empty precincts that have registrants of one race as at least 95 percent of the total registration in the district. Analyzing these using race and partisan registration data and vote proportions of the candidates who hauled in 85 percent of the vote, Mayo, Abraham, McAllister, and third-place finisher Zach Dasher shows that by far the most prominent factor in voting for Mayo was black registration, and that proportion of Republican registrants was the only other factor with significance, and negative. That means that Republicans are less likely to vote for him, all other factors equal, boding ill for him capturing that segment of the vote which is demonstrably conservative.

By contrast, when reviewing an analysis of Abraham’s vote at the precinct level, his strongest significant relationship, positively, was with proportion of Republicans, but also significant in a positive direction was proportion of whites and blacks, displaying an ability to tap into broader and widespread conservative sentiments in the district. Regarding the other main contenders, McAllister’s vote proportion had a positive, significant relationship with whites and Democrat proportion, while Dasher’s had a negative, significant relationship with both white and black proportions but positive with Democrats.

Substantively, what these mean is Abraham captured a traditional conservative Republicans demographic, while Dasher gained the more populist conservative grouping, and McAllister was seen as a default white Democrat in the contest. McAllister’s apparent coalition begs the question about whether black Democrats should have voted for him, which they hardly did as in the seven entirely black-registrant precincts he got 1.7 percent of the vote (Abraham got 0.9 percent and Dasher 1.2 percent) while Mayo only got 2.2 percent of the 13 entirely white-registrant ones. The white Democrat-aligned voters that McAllister seemed to be able to attract would have made him a much stronger runoff candidate than Mayo looks to be.

And thus also begs the question of whether McAllister should have run explicitly as a Democrat, where he hardly could have done worse that he actually did running under the GOP label. But such is water under the bridge for someone who caught lightning in a bottle yet never realized his fortune of being the right guy at the right time, which prompted him to overestimate his abilities and led to foolish choices. Thus the chapter ends, and citizens of the Fifth District will have to learn to get along without buffoonery from their man in Washington.

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Jeffrey Sadow

Jeffrey Sadow is an associate professor of political science at Louisiana State University in Shreveport.   He writes a daily conservative blog called Between The Lines

Website: jeffsadow.blogspot.com/
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