Daily Archives: December 7, 2008

Louisiana 2008

Two congressional races were held yesterday in Louisiana’s 2nd and 4th congressional districts.

Louisiana-2 (PVI D +28)
Anh Cao (R) 49.55%
William J. Jefferson (D) 46.82%
Malik Rahim (G) 2.81%
Gregory Kahn (L) 0.82%
R gain from D

Louisiana’s 2nd CD represents New Orleans (Orleans Parish and a part of Jefferson Parish) and has been held by Democrats since 1891 (and by Jefferson since 1991). The district is 64% black, and the median HH income is only $27,514. Jefferson is a corrupt African-American Democratic establishment politician, who narrowly defeated a Democratic challenger in a 2006 runoff (despite the state Democratic Party supporting his opponent). Cao’s unexpected victory is a huge surprise in a 64% black and historically Democratic stronghold. Many liberals and Democrats probably voted for Cao over the crook, but might not do so again 2010 with a different Democratic challenger (who would be the favourite to re-gain the seat).

Louisiana-4 (PVI R +7)
John Fleming (R) 48.07%
Paul Carmouche (D) 47.69%
Chester Kelly (I) 3.51%
Gerard Bowen (I) 0.73%
R hold

The 4th CD covers most of western Louisiana, and includes the city Shreveport in the north. The conservative-leaning district is majority white (62%) but a third of the population is black, mostly located in Caddo Parish in the northwestern tip of the district. The district is relatively poor, with a median HH income of $31,085. While national (liberal) Democrats do poorly in the district (40% for Kerry in 2004 and Obama only won Caddo Parish), local (conservative) Democrats do much better (as is the case in many Southern states, just look at MS). The seat was held by retiring Republican incumbent Jim McCrery. Carmouche and Fleming won in their respective primaries on November 4. Carmouche had some good returns last night, and seemed favoured to win narrowly. However, Fleming pulled it out narrowly.

Look here and here for some historical electoral and demographic maps.