(UPDATED 10/2 AM) Today is Election Day in Louisiana. About 79,200 have already voted – this figure includes nearly all of the mail in ballots. 25% of early voters were black, and the party breakdown of the early voters was 54-36-10% Democrat/Republican/Independent (party breakdown by parish here). While the black percentage is relatively high for absentees, it’s worth noting that it’s due to unusual levels of early voting activity in several rural parishes like East Carroll, Madison, Pointe Coupee and Evangeline. The partisan participation is about equal to that of the 2007 primary – the night Bobby Jindal clinched a first primary victory. Overall, we are not very surprised by the early voting numbers/demographics, because with local elections on the ballot, we would expect to see an early vote population that more closely mirrors the Louisiana electorate.
For this posting, we’d like to “soundbite” the big statewide/major local elections.
Lt Governor’s race (things to look for)
- We think the turnout will be 30% statewide, or about 870K votes – 79K have already voted):
- Can Jay Dardenne hold on in metro NO against Villere, Davis, and even Fayard ?
- Can Sammy Kershaw dominate in the country parishes west of the Atchafalaya ?
- Can Roger Villere compete against Kershaw west of the Atchafalaya ? Can he beat Dardenne in Jefferson Parish ? And what benefit will be get from TEA Party endorsements ?
- Can Caroline Fayard’s saturation of the airwaves enable her to finish strongly in the larger metro areas, and can she compete against Gautreaux with populist Democrats west of the Atchafalaya ?
- Depending on how the tug of war between Fayard/Gautreaux and Villere/Kershaw ends up tomorrow night, we think that 17-20% of the vote will be sufficient to make the runoff.
3rd Congressional District Republican Congressional Runoff :
- Considering how close Jeff Landry came to wunning outright in the primary, can he win by a substantial margin in the runoff ?
- Will the last minute endorsement of Hunt Downer by Kristian Magar sway TEA Party votes to Downer, particularly in Iberia Parish (Kristian’s home) ?
East Baton Rouge Parish School Board:
- 6 of 8 incumbents running for re-election received opposition. Are any of them (Vereta Lee, Darryl Robertson, W.T. Winfield, Noel Hammatt, Jerry Arbour, and Randy Lamana) vulnerable ?
- In the open school board race in south Baton Rouge, Connie Bernard is the sole Republican running against three Democrats in a moderately Republican district. How well will she do tomorrow night ?
Proposed tax increase to fund the bus system:
- There has been no attention devoted to this item on the ballot. Will this lack of attention enable it to pass, or will it go down in flames ?