In the previous article, we graphically displayed the election results by precinct for Baton Rouge. This posting is devoted to New Orleans: namely, the “urban core” of Orleans, Jefferson, and Saint Bernard.
The New Orleans area was one of the first parts of the state (other than Baton Rouge) to vote Republican in statewide and legislative races. Lately, the area has become politically marginal. Despite the popular belief that Hurricane Katrina initiated an exodus of faithful Democratic voters, the reality is somewhat different. Republican/Republican leaning areas like the Lakeview subdivision and Saint Bernard Parish suffered massive population losses. Furthermore, a portion of the black voting demographic that resided in Orleans Parish resettled in Jefferson Parish – generally in the Westbank, but there have been some demographic changes in Metairie and Kenner as well. Finally, you have the emergence of two voting blocs that were not as pervalent before Hurricane Katrina: (1) liberal minded professionals who moved to New Orleans in the aftermath of Katrina, and in the process refurbished houses that were damaged by the storm, and (2) an influx of Hispanics who were attracted by the economic opportuities apparent in the rebuilding effort – there are now Hispanic enclaves in Jefferson Parish, especially in Gretna and Kenner.
To illustrate the changing politics of the “core region”, President Obama increased his performance in Orleans Parish from 79 to 80%, while in Jefferson Parish, the Romney percentage slipped from 63 to 58%, and it plunged 10 points (from 71 to 61%) in Saint Bernard Parish.
(Note: the color coding for all maps is the percent of the vote the Republican Presidential nominee received in each election. Also, the “black lines” are the current state House districts)