Sunday, November 19, 2006

This is Not a Prediction

But I think Jefferson will beat Carter in the runoff.

I came to this non-prediction after Derrick Shepherd’s endorsement of Jefferson and after looking at two maps: the 2nd Congressional District Primary results and the New Orleans Mayoral Runoff [PDF] results.

In Orleans Parish, the precincts Jefferson won are almost the same as the ones Nagin won. Karen Carter and Lavigne split most of Landrieu’s precincts, with Troy Carter and Shepherd in there somewhere.

Nagin supported Jefferson. While I do not think Mitch Landrieu supported any one candidate in the congressional primary, Karen Carter has supported Landrieu in the past. So, my read for Orleans Parish is that Jefferson versus Carter is Nagin voters versus Landrieu voters. Nagin won in New Orleans and I think Jefferson will, too.

Which leaves the Jefferson Parish precincts. Another look at the primary map shows Shepherd winning most of the JP precincts, especially on the West Bank. Jefferson and Lavigne won the rest. Karen Carter won none of the JP precincts.

Shepherd endorsed Jefferson. That doesn’t mean all of Shepherd’s JP votes will go to Jefferson. But, Jefferson doesn’t really need all of them. He already has a lot of support in Jefferson Parish, based on his winning a few precincts.

My conclusion: Bill Jefferson wins Orleans Parish because the Nagin voters will vote for him and he wins Jefferson Parish because enough Shepherd voters will vote for him. Winning both parishes, obviously, Jefferson will win re-election.

This is not a prediction. I am not good at predictions. This is more like a “best guess.”

Of course, you don’t win a Congressional election by precincts, but by individual votes. And, although most analyses of this election I have read say the race of the individual voters doesn’t matter, I disagree. Race always matters.

In the precincts that were 50 to 75 percent African-American, Jefferson only won a couple of percentage points of voters more than Karen Carter, but still the most. In the precincts that are more than 75 percent African-American, Jefferson almost won a majority of the votes with 49.5 percent.

To me – and I am no expert, I am just reading the numbers available to me – that indicates African-American voters, more than not, tend to vote for Jefferson. In Jefferson Parish, Bill Jefferson only needs African-American voters, more than not, to vote for him and he wins. I think he will get that vote.

The “whiter” sections of Jefferson Parish in Kenner, Metairie, Gretna, and Terrytown have been gerrymandered to be in Bobby Jindal’s district. It’s funny how the 1st Congressional District goes from the north shore, jumping over the Lake through parts of Kenner, all of Metairie, through a small section of Uptown New Orleans, jumping over the river and sticking close to the river in Westwego, Marrero, and Harvey, dipping south through parts of Gretna and just the middle of Terrytown. Funny how that goes.

Assuming that the trend of African-American precincts going to Jefferson equates to a tendency for African-Americans to vote for Bill Jefferson, and also assuming a similar turnout in Orleans Parish as the Mayoral race, then I believe Orleans Parish’s overwhelming African-American majority will make up for the underwhelming white majority due to gerrymandering in Jefferson Parish which would give Bill Jefferson a whole lot of African-American votes and enough non-African-American votes to win.

Having said that, I do not believe African-American voters will vote for Jefferson because of any genetic reasons. That would be stupid and quite racist. I have never bought into the “people vote for people who look like them” idea. I think people vote for people who, at least in public, *act* like them. We vote for the candidate we most identify with. Often, that candidate looks like us, but not necessarily.

Also, this race has two African-American candidates in the runoff, so to say African-American voters will vote for the African-American candidate means nothing. Karen Carter seems to be getting more “white” endorsements (Boysie Bollinger and Joe Canizaro aren't on the endorsement page but are mentioned on another page on her website). But this has nothing to do with the color of her skin and everything to do with her political philosophy or the fact that those endorsing her identify more with her than with Jefferson.

Sure, there are some holes in my analysis. For example, many African-Americans didn’t vote for either Jefferson or Carter. Who will they vote for? But that’s where my assumptions come in. Plus, remember, I am no expert. Agree with my analysis at your own risk.


Anonymous said...

it's more like the voters ask what have you done for me lately or what can you do for me.

once you elimanate that one element from this you make it more about the entire district and you will get the best canidate.

how thats gets down is anybodys guess.

im watering down your take , sorry.

bayoustjohndavid said...

How well do you know the West Bank of either Orleans or Jefferson? Will the people there get out to vote for Jefferson just to keep the seat open for one of their own? There won't be any other important elections that day, so turnout should be the deciding factor. If Carter stops thinking she can coast to victory, I think she has the advantage. She gets almost all of the white east bank vote with a decent turnout I would think that Harry Lee's opposition to Carter should be enough to keep many blacks from voting for Jefferson for civil rights reasons. But she needs to figure out a way to use Lee's opposition to her advantage. I might be putting too much emphasis on it, but my one reason to think it's Carter's to lose (provided she stops acting like it's hers to lose) is that the highest turnout should be among anti-Jefferson voters.

Tim said...

I agree completely with your analysis. Once I heard Shepherd was endorsing Jefferson, I had came to the same conclusion. Unless Carter can light a fire, Jefferson will coast to victory.

I will also say that I don't see a whole lot of difference here. As bad as Dollar Bill is, Karen Carter is just another party insider running for another office. In the eyes of the nation, it will look better for us if Carter beats Dollar Bill, but in practive, I doubt we will get any better representation.

And I live and vote here. It's pretty depressing.



adrastos said...

I agree with both Tim and da Po Boy. I don't think a Carter loss is a tragedy. I don't like her and what she'll do is direct the gravy train to BOLD and her allies.

mominem said...

The really sad part is that we can't get better candidates. The only people who are likely to be able to run a credible campaign outside of the political establishment are wealthy people like Rob Couhig, and they can't get elected.

Where do you get good, electable candidates.

I think the voters could elect somone good if they had the chance. I think that's what happened to C. Ray, he was elected as an outsider.

The only thing I can come up with is someone like Pat Swilling (not necessarily him but someone like him).