Monday, April 24, 2006

Primary election analysis

Once again, I salute Dan Swenson (assisted here by Matt Scallan) for a fine map. Actually, I used to do exactly this kind of work in another life, so I can say that while the data is not that remarkable (although it's remarkable that it's available from the Louisiana Secretary of State so quickly), the presentation is very nicely done.

Nagin is doomed. The anti-Nagin vote was more than 70 percent.

The only caveat to that prediction is turnout. I was most astounded by the extremely low turnout for this race. It may suprise outsiders who cling to unflattering stereotypes of New Orleans, blacks and whites in New Orleans tend to vote at much higher rates than other parts of the country -- off the top of my head, typically more than 60 percent turnout and up. It's possible that people aren't interested in voting because they're never returning to New Orleans, or they couldn't get their absentee applications and ballots sent in time, or they couldn't get back to the city to vote.

I resent the assumption by some analysts that higher black turnout would favor Ray Nagin -- because Nagin is black. I firmly believe everyone should have an opportunity to vote, and when they do, most blacks and whites in New Orleans will vote for the candidate who will do what's best for the city. That's why whites voted in such significant numbers for Nagin four years ago; and that's why blacks voted in such significant numbers for Mitch Landrieu.

What you can't see in the T-P map above is the percentage of the black vote that Landrieu won in predominantly black precincts. Landrieu may not have won those precincts outright, but he did win significant numbers of votes in those precincts, which explains why he won about as many precincts as Forman did, but beat Forman by ten points.

On to the next round.

Then, finally, could we please start rebuilding the friggin' city!!!

And this just in:

Calling Nagin a friend, Forman, who received 17 percent of the votes cast Saturday, said the mayor has served the city well, but it is time for a change.

"The man is tired," Forman said, standing along the Mississippi River in Woldenberg Park, a project built on his watch as Audubon Institute president. "He’s worn out."


At 4/24/2006 07:38:00 PM, Blogger Rob said...

Just to complicate things: Nobody seems to've noticed that Nagin is part white and Landrieu part black. (And this in a country where Colin Powell is marked "black" when he's clearly mixed.) I'm just going by my lyin' eyes, and I don't presume to know if any of that had anything to do with who got votes from whom. Unfortunately, this is one of those delicate issues about which reporters at great personal risk can inquire. "Mayor Nagin, why are you so red? Lt. Gov. Landrieu, whence your curly hair and sallow skin?" It's awful inconvenient, but many of us aren't one race or another. What's sad is that here of all places the mixing of "races" isn't acknowledged.

But either way, "Go, Mitch!"


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