Louisiana is as red as they come in term of Deep South voting trends, but its large bloc of registered Democrats make the state seem “purple” on the surface. That’s despite the fact that presumed Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has a 99.7 percent chance of carrying the state.
The New York Times reports that Louisiana has 1.4 million registered Democrats in the state, almost half of its 2.9 million registered voters:
But while Louisiana votes consistently with the Deep South, its conservative engine is made up of slightly different parts, some of which, when viewed in isolation, falsely appears to make Louisiana more pink, or purple, than red.
Of the roughly 2.9 million registered voters in the state, 1.4 million are registered as Democrats, while about 789,000 are registered Republicans and another 694,000 registered as “other.” Even if every “other” voter sided with the Republicans, it would appear that Louisiana is a hotly contested state. So how is every major state office held by a Republican?
The Catholic vote is strongest in the predominantly Cajun southwestern part of the state known as Acadiana. Catholic voters once made up a large part of the “swing” vote in Louisiana, before social issues like abortion and same-sex marriage became part of the political conversation. In 1992, 41 percent of all voters in the state identified themselves as Catholics, and 47 percent of Catholics voted for Bill Clinton. By 2008, the vote had switched, with 70 percent of Catholics voting for Mr. McCain.
“Cajun Catholics are no longer moderately swing votes at all,” Mr. Parent said. “They are becoming as reliably Republican as Southern Baptists.”
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DEC 20 The Robertson family is playing hardball in their dispute with A&E, the network that airs the wildly profitable "reality" show about their family, Duck Dynasty. Patriarch Phil Robertson was suspended by the network after GQ printed an interview with him that contained his (unedited) comments about gay and black folks. Here's a link to their statement, in which they say they can't imagine the show without papa and announcing that they are in negotiations with A&E about the future of the show.
DEC 20 Blogger Robert Mann (also a journalism prof at LSU and thus an authority on the First Amendment) says something in this post of which a lot of Fox News anchors and internet trolls should take heed: the Constitution says you have freedom of speech. It does not say you can't face consequences for what you say. He also takes a look at what our governor has to say -- and ole Bobby had to drag Miley Cyrus into it.
DEC 20 Blogger Tom Aswell says Governor Bobby Jindal has now had more to say about the comments a "reality" star made about gay and black people than he has had to say about the problems in his own voucher program or the sinkhole in Bayou Corne. In fact, Tom points out, Bobby's all over the Phil Robertson "issue" like "a duck on a June bug."
DEC 20 Here's an interesting post from blogger Katie East in DIG Magazine about celebrity passings. She understands why so many would be sad because of Mandela's passing -- he was an international figure, a political figure, an activist. But there is similar wailing following the passing of people who may not have had the same impact, she says -- like the guy who starred in the Fast and Furious movies. She wants to know: why is that?
DEC 20 Columnist James Gill writes about Louisiana's embattled voucher program in this post. Just because a child attends a private school does not mean he's going to get a good education, Gill writes. Gov. Jindal likes to say the program helps kids get a great education, but whether it does that is open to "considerable doubt," Gill writes.
DEC 20 Gambit's Clancy DuBos writes about the NOLA mayor's race in this post. For a while, it was assumed that it would be a quiet one, given the amount of money Mitch has in the bank. But at the last minute, a (possibly) formidable candidate threw his hat in the ring. The question is, Clancy says, why?
DEC 20 In Louisiana's education system, the state takes over a school that is designated as "failing." The assumption is, that's a good thing and will produce improvement. But is that the case? Blogger Mike Deshotels takes a look at how takeovers perform in one area of testing, the ACT.
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