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Wednesday, 18 October 2017 12:02

Early voting, black vote, ad buys play big role in Louisiana Treasurer Race Featured

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Neil Riser
Neil Riser

While the Louisiana Treasurer’s race did not light up the voter’s interest, yielding a roughly 13.5 percent turnout, there is a very interesting story to be told from one of the individuals involved in the election process.

John Couvillon, polled for Angele Davis’s unsuccessful run.  She was one of three Republican candidate who was trying to garner her share of the 65 to 70 percent of the vote that would be likely be split up between the three conservative candidates which included John Schroder and Neil Riser.

On Tuesday, Bayoubuzz posted the initial part of the Couvillon interview. It ended at the point in which Couvillon discussed Neil Riser’s strategy to try to obtain support of the African American community organization backing, perhaps a rather odd strategy given that he is a conservative Republican from North Louisiana.

In part two of the post-general election interview below, Couvillon President of JMC Analytics and Polling, analyzes the numbers for Neil Riser and John Schroder, assesses the Derrick Edwards domination in the African American community.

So that was Neil Risers strengths and weaknesses and the thing that was interesting--you know oftentimes conventional wisdom is something that dominates the political discussion and those conventional wisdoms usually are not questioned until you have data to counteract it--so needless to say when I got home Saturday night the first thing I did--was once the precinct results were available I was curious about what Neil Riser got with the black community or more specifically how the black and the white vote went. 

And so what ended up happening and this is from an analysis of precincts where the black voter registration is at least 70% across the state--looking at the vote from that perspective, the black vote went 75% for Derrick Edwards statewide and 76% for Edwards in New Orleans and the other Republican candidates received single-digit support both within and without New Orleans.  There's another part of my analysis of the statewide results which i think is also interesting.  So one of the interesting dynamics you have had steadily occurring in Louisiana ever since early voting was-- or more specifically-- in person early voting was introduced after Hurricane Katrina, was that more and more people in Louisiana are beginning to appreciate the convenience of early voting and are taking advantage of that provision in the law, so a record was set last November when 26% of Louisianians early voted for the presidential race.  Last December that was 21%, so in other words you have a new normal that appears to have happened and Saturday night it was 23%, so in other words 1/4 of the vote was already spoken for a week before the election--which in a race where you didn't have much money to spend to begin with because of donor fatigue or lack of donor interest, my argument would be at a time to convince voters was not the last week of the campaign but the last week before early voting and the week of early voting.  Philosophical issue but one that I think is important for the Bayoubuzz listeners to appreciate.

But what is interesting to me was when I looked at how the early vote went and this by the way reinforces the dominance that I had referred to regarding the Schroeder campaign, so 23% of Louisianians early voted, and amongst that group, Derek Edwards got 32% John Schroeder 24% Neil Riser 21 percent and Angele Davis 19%, and so from that first group which is those who early voted albeit in person or through mail, John Schroeder had a 41-- 4700 vote lead over the Davis campaign.  If you look at the remaining 77 percent who voted on Election Day, Derek Edwards got 31%, John Schroeder got the same 24 percent on Election Day that he got with early voters,  Angele Davis went from 19 to 23 percent, Neil Riser fell from 21 to 17 percent.  So just as the Davis campaign trailed among 4700 voters with the early vote and ran fourth, she trailed John Schroeder by 4900 voters amongst Election Day, so for John Schroeder to have had that similar performance both looking at the early vote and the Election Day vote, that reinforces the notion to me that he was dominant since the numbers didn't weigh change.

Neil Riser given that he had limited resources and those resources he used-- he in my opinion--did not allocate them most efficiently, there was a huge drop-off between what he got in the early vote and what he got on Election Day, most likely because he just didn't have the resources to have a final push.  Angele Davis made a late push which benefited her Election Day vote, however if you run fourth amongst the early voters, that's half of John Schroeder's victory margin.  So that's that's what I saw happen in the election campaigning for treasurer that is.

To say three weeks yes a few spots interesting yes they were and that's that's a very interesting point, because this was something that definitely there would be a different story depending on what media market you are in, so I could tell you from from my perspective of watching TV, that John Schroeder's ads started roughly about early voting-- in other words when he started seeing him in heavy rotation, and he hit just about every station and he had two ads there was of course the one of him standing up to the yes men and there was the dance-party ad which he rotated--I saw that I would say about 95 percent of the content of the ads for treasurer was John, John Schroeder campaign.

Neal Riser actually saw him run an ad or two on the Weather Channel back in August during one of those--believe it or not--which I thought--because the thing about that kind of thinking--is it's very much out of the box, but if you figure that there's a hurricane that's close to Louisiana, people gonna be nervous and tuned into the Weather Channel, I could not think of a better time to run an ad.  You could probably get some good ad rates at that time too, 


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