In the previous article, we graphically displayed the election results by precinct for New Orleans. This posting is devoted to Lafayette.
With the predominance of the oil industry, Lafayette would seem to be one of those cities that would automatically support Republicans. While this is true at the Presidential level, Democrats were able to win here locally for years. Recently, however, the Democrats’ positions on issues related to the oil industry and social issues (this is a predominately Catholic, pro-life constituency) has cost them valuable support in the area, and Republicans have become more successful locally – in fact, it was GOP special election victories in the area that contributed to the GOP takeover of both houses of the Louisiana legislature. This change in basic voter attitudes accelerated after the BP oil spill: in elections since then, Democrats have lost support in Lafayette and other coastal parishes that are dependent on the oil and gas industry.
(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)