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Louisiana in Play?

I was browsing through the January issue of Black Enterprise, and I was surprised to see a map on page 79 predicting the “states Obama can win in the primaries.” Surprised, because they predicted an Obama win in Indiana but not Louisiana. In fact, of course, the reverse was true.

I think I could have called those states correctly. Those are the two states I know (having lived in both) and to which I pay attention.

Of course, hindsight is perfect, so let me look forward. What about the general election? I think Indiana will not be in play. The Republicans have had Indiana locked up in presidential races for as long as I’ve been alive. Indiana will go to McCain. Easy call. Obama supporters in Indiana might as well not even bother to show up at the polls, because it’s winner take all.

But what about Louisiana? I think Louisiana might actually be contested. There was an article in the Feb. 9th Washington Times which states that Louisiana is “one of the Democrats’ best Southern chances in November” if Obama is the nominee. And I think that might be correct.

That would be interesting. In fact, come to think of it, it would be the first time in my entire life that my vote might actually seem to matter in the conventional sense.

I’ve voted for president five times, three in Indiana, two in Louisiana. In all five cases, the outcome was a foregone conclusion. The Republican candidate won the state handily and took 100% of the state’s electoral vote. This was well known and well publicized before the election.

Therefore I never had any philosophical misgivings about “throwing my vote away” on hopeless third-party candidates. I sure as hell wasn’t going to vote for Bush or Dole or Bush. But why bother voting for Kerry or whoever when I knew he couldn’t touch Bush in this state? I didn’t need to bother with those “lesser evil” conundrums. I voted my conscience each time. In fact, I felt the only way my vote could conceivably count for anything was to show support for nascent third parties such as the Greens.

But if Louisiana is actually in play… Hmmm. I wonder if it will be.

Published inPolitix


  1. I don’t know if I agree with your analysis. It’s entirely possible that the 2008 GE margin for McCain in Indiana might be narrower than Louisiana. The latest polls (about a month old) show McCain up by 7-10 over Obama in Indiana, whereas he’s up about 15 in LA.

    These numbers will evolve a bit in the months ahead, of course, but Obama could make it very interesting in the Hoosier state.

    Louisiana… I don’t know. I’m trying to remain hopeful.

    How close does it have to be before you consider a state “in play”?

    Dole won Indiana by “only” 5 points in 96. Say the advance polling was perfectly accurate that year, and had Dole leading IN 45 to 40 over Clinton, with a plus/minus moe of 3%. Is that truly “locked up”?

  2. Frank Schiavo Frank Schiavo

    And don’t forget, we—and I mean the southern-most portion of the state–tend to forget the large northern remainder of the state is mostly conservative and have gone Republican in the past.

  3. rickngentilly rickngentilly

    just vote.

    i really dig the fact that every time i’ve gone to rite-aid or rouses the last few weeks there have been kids out there registering voters.

    vote everybody.

    my personal old person who is cranky bitch these days is people at work wringing their hands about someone in power and when i ask them if they voted they tell me no.

    i have taken the position that you only get to bitch if you voted.

    vote yall.

  4. I was mind-bogglingly excited to vote in the primary this spring because it’s probably the only time that my vote as a liberal will count in Indiana presidential politics. I always vote, as I feel it’s the duty of a citizen (plus I have a suffragist arestee as an ancestor) but I am well aware that my presidential vote won’t matter.

    The only wild card I see in all of this is if HRC is the nominee. Quite a few of my neighbors (the ones who think GWB has doen a swell job as president) crossed party lines to vote for HRC because #1 they think she’ll be easier to defeat and #2 because they hope that if she wins, she will screw up and they will get a “real” Republican in the race in 2012.

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