Pearson Cross, head of UL’s political science department and a reliable go-to for Louisiana politics at all levels, writes today in a guest blog for the popular DC news website The Hill about Louisiana’s support for Mitt Romney, pointing out that the Republican presidential nominee was not the first choice for Louisiana voters during the primaries.
Although Cross notes in his post that the Romney-Ryan camp will certainly carry all eight electoral votes in the Bayou State, Louisiana voters favored ultra-conservative Rick Santorum by 22 points:
Prior to the selection of Paul Ryan, Louisianians were abuzz with the prospect of favorite son Bobby Jindal competing for the second spot on the Republican ticket, although to be honest, some were more excited with the prospect of Jindal taking his budget-cutting magic elsewhere than they were about bringing glory to the state. Had Romney picked Jindal, the prospect of a native son on the ticket would undoubtedly have swung some voters to the GOP, although this swing would scarcely have been noted in a state that gave John McCain a comfortable win in 2008 (59-38%).
Despite this snub, Louisiana is fertile ground for the Romney-Ryan message of personal responsibility, shrinking the size and role of government, and reducing the number of people in the “dependent” category. The message of a too-large government and classes of people that don’t/won’t work resonates strongly in a state with a history of providing jobs as payment for political support and possessing an outsized work-force relative to its size. In addition, the not-so-subtle thrust of the Romney-Ryan campaign to “take back America” treads on the racial divide that still colors every issue in Louisiana where African Americans are often poor, still under-represented, and certain to vote for Obama-Biden.
Read the rest of Cross' blog, which also touches on the contentious inter-party congressional battle between U.S. Reps. Charles Boustany and Jeff Landry, here.
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