How Katrina Will Make Lousiana More Republican

Put simply, according to the New York Times recently most of the people who left the state of Louisiana are voters in heavily Democratic New Orleans. This will shift state power away from New Orleans to the more rural and suburban areas of the state.

On the upside for Democrats, Lousiana had been losing population for sometime and was down to only 9 electoral votes-and was expected to lose at least one seat after the 2010 census before Katrina. Meanwhile Nevada has grown to 5 electoral votes and may grow more.

Demographically the Nevada metro areas (cities and suburbs) which Kerry won are growing while the growth of non-metro Nevada has slowed (this is one reason why Bush’s margin over Kerry was only 2% out there as opposed to the 4% margin he racked up over Gore in 2000).

In addition Lousiana had only voted Democrat 2 times (1976, 1996) since the Kennedy Adminstration so La. was already moving away from the Dems. With the huge growth in the Hispanic population in Nevada (and remember that 64% of Hispanics voted for Kerry nationally) and a nascent union movement in Nevada, perhaps Nevada is finally ready to switch to becoming a Democrat leaning-swing state. Except for voting for Ford over Carter in 1976 Nevada has voted for the presidential election winner in every election since 1912. All the more reason to target it. Except for Carter and Gore New Mexico has also voted for the winner in every election since 1912, and Kerry only lost it by .6%. Shift just .3% of the vote and Kerry wins this state that is a non-majority minority state (and is becoming more so as more Hispanics become citizens and vote). Gore only won the state by 366 votes in 2000, and Kerry got more voted in this state and a greater percent of the vote than any post-1964 Democrat nominee. New Mexico and Nevada make up 10 EV’s combined.

Of course the NY Times could be wrong. There has been some optimism expressed here about La. becoming more Democrat as a result of Katrina and Bush’s incompetence. But even if the worst case scenario depicted in the NY Times turns out to be true, just remember Dems do have other options.

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About Nick

Teacher of Social Studies. Born in the 1970s. History major, music minor. Big Baseball fan. Economic progressive.
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9 Responses to How Katrina Will Make Lousiana More Republican

  1. Ron Chusid says:

    Lousiana may become more Republican due to losing Democratic voters, but those Democrats will still be somewhere. I’ve read speculation that they might contribute to other demographic trends and increase the chances of Texas tipping Democratic in the future. At very last they might impact some Congressional races.

  2. A lot of those Dems from LA went to TX, maybe they will make TX more Democratic! LOL! Poetic justice….

  3. Marjorie G says:

    Yes, into one those redistricted seats.

  4. Marjorie

    Hopefully in to more than one redistricted seat!

  5. Chris says:

    Are you suggesting that evacuees are permanently relocating? It seems your argument is hinged on that. Otherwise, I’d hope to see a heavy DNC effort to promote absentee ballots to keep the blue areas of LA blue.

  6. Chris

    Many evacuees have already stated they are permanently relocated.

  7. Chris Says:
    October 11th, 2005 at 9:20 am

    Chris, One of the things that I have tried to relay to people, is that while most consider La. a strong red state, and a hard one at that, One has to look further into the local status of communities. I live in a district, that has all Dems in the local and state levels. The only GOP member I have, is David Vitter(R) as a US senator. Our state house and senate is holding a Dem majority. My local reps in the state house and senate, are not GOP.

    Given that, You also have to look at the people that have migrated to my area. My town, has taken in people from N.O. and some have chosen to stay here. Our town has so many people in it now, that traffic is unlike we have ever seen. If you have an area, that already shows a lean to the Dem side, how much more will it show in voting?

    Some wish to look at New Orleans and the people leaving there, as an omen of breaking the Dem stronghold of the state. I see it as watering down the RED Plague in the rest of our state. Depends on how you wanna look at it. A lot of people will migrate back to N.O. and many won’t stay in our area, but many will.

  8. The nature of the landscape is changed, but things may show a change in the times. What i see, is a change that will go to the favor of the Dem Party. But then, I only live here, who am I to say?

  9. Nick says:


    I do hope you are right and the NY Times is wrong. Your arguements about how Katrina could lead to a Democratic swing in La. are interesting and encouraging. You obviously know your state better than I do and I respect that. The only reason I put this article forth is to get a discussion going about possible political fallout from Katrina and what Dems could do in the case of worse case scenarios.