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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Louisiana and Blue Suburbs

In Defying the Odds, we discuss state and congressional elections as well as the presidential race. The update -- recently published -- looks at political and demographic trends through the 2018 midterm.  Last night, Democrat John Bel Edwards won reelection as governor of Louisiana.
Before the results came in, Jonathan Martin wrote at NYT:
[The] traditional regional divide is giving way to an urban versus rural political chasm that is shaping elections across the country. Republicans are dominating the countryside across much of the state, while Democrats are running up large margins in the cities in both the north and south while gaining strength in the suburbs.
...
Remarkably, his strong showing [in last month's first-round vote] included Jefferson Parish, which is the largest locality in suburban New Orleans and was where modern Republicanism first took root in the state. But with an influx of Hispanic, Vietnamese-American and African-American voters, and with the drift of college-educated whites away from the Trump-era G.O.P., the parish has become more friendly to Democrats.
“These suburbs used to be reliably Republican,” said former Senator Mary Landrieu, a Democrat. “But now you’ve got some moderate Republican women who find what’s going on in the White House appalling.”
Mr. Edwards received 53 percent of the vote in Jefferson Parish in the October primary. In 2003, when Bobby Jindal, a Republican, was making his first bid for governor, he captured nearly 63 percent of the vote there even as he lost statewide.
Even as recently as 2008, when John McCain was being routed nationally, he still managed to capture 65 percent of the vote in Jefferson Parish. But by 2016, Mr. Trump was winning only 55 percent there as he easily carried the state.
“McCain was the kind of Republican who could put together the crazies and country clubbers,” observed Roy Fletcher, a longtime political strategist here.
Yesterday, Edwards got 57 percent in Jefferson Parish and about 90 percent in Orleans Parish (New Orleans).