24 December 2011

Rank 44 / 8: Louisiana

Louisiana:
One of the „Clinton 6“







Results of the last 8 presidential cycles:


Year
Rank
Winning %
% Margin
Part. Value
Swing“
National Swing
Trend
2008
44 / 08
58.56%
+18.63%
+25.89%
+4.12%
+9.72%
+13.84
2004
34 / 18
56.72%
+14.51%
+12.05%
+6.83%
+2.98%
+3.85
2000
31 / 21
52.55%
+7.68%
+8.20%
+19.75%
+8.00%
+11.75
1996
19 / 33
52.01%
+12.07%
+3.55%
+7.46%
+2.96%
+4.50
1992
24 / 28
45.58%
+4.61%
-0.95%
+14.82%
+13.29%
+1.53
1988
24 / 28
54.27%
+10.21%
+2.48%
-12.39%
-10.49%
+1.90
1984
31 / 21
60.77%
+22.60%
+4.38%
+17.15%
+8.48%
+8.67
1980
20 / 32
51.20%
+5.45%
-4.29%
+11.23%
+11.80%
+0.57




Blue shading = DEM pick-up over the cycle before.
Red shading = GOP pick-up over the cycle before.


Louisiana margin average, 1988-2008 (8 cycles): 
GOP +5.73% 
Louisiana margin average, 1988-2008 (6 cycles): 
GOP +7.80%


Within the summary is an analysis of the swings and trend values in LA over the last eight cycles.


Trend: 
STRONG REPUBLICAN

LA county-by-county EXCEL spreadsheet
(raw totals for 2008 and 2004, margins, swings, % of state PV, county growth rate)


The partisan rankings for Ranking 44 (LA) and Ranking 45 (AR) from 2008 backwards in history to 1964 in Table-format (highlighted in yellow and green) are HERE.



Links

Helpful Info Links
Helpful Election Links
LA VR link – flash map of parrishes
LA population 2008: 4,410,796
LA Population Density: 39.1 persons per sq Km.
Electoral Vote Density: 490,088 persons per EV.



LA ELECTORAL DEVELOPMENT (electors through history) :  3 (1812-1820), 5 (1824-1840), 6 (1844-1860), did not vote in 1864, 7 (1868),  8 (1872-1900), 9 (1892-1908) 10 (1912-1988), 9 (1992- 2008), 8 EV (2012- ).
SUMMARY



Louisiana is the 8th most conservative state and the 44th most liberal state, with a Republican winning margin of +18.63% and having voted 25.89% more Republican than the national margin in 2008. Louisiana was one of only five states to „swing“ toward the Republican Party in 2008 (OK, WV, TN, LA, AR) and had the second highest „swing“ behind Arkansas.

Louisiana was the 18th most conservative state and the 34th most liberal state in 2004, with a Republican winning margin of +14.51% and having voted 12.05% more Republican than the national margin in that year.

Louisiana was the 21st most conservative state and the 31st most liberal state in 2000, with a Republican winning margin of +7.68% and having voted 8.20% more Republican than the national margin in that year.


In its entire electoral history, from 1856-present, Louisiana went went for the GOP 
11 times, for the DEMS  24  times and 3 times for an Independent candidate.


From 1904 - 2008, Louisiana went for the GOP 
9 timesfor the DEMS 16 times and 2 times for an Independent candidate.

Since 1948, Louisiana went for the GOP
 9 times, for the DEMS 5 times 
and 2 times for an Independent candidate.

Since 1960, Louisiana went for the GOP 8 times, for the DEMS 4 times and 1 time for an Independent candidate.


Louisiana officially became the 18th state of the Union on April 30, 1812,  the fifth newest state (after Vermont, Kentucky, Tennessee and Ohio) following the founding of the 13 colonies. The 31st largest state in the Union by area , but the 25th largest by population Louisiana has shown parallel demographic and political growth in its history to the neighboring states of AR and TX.


Louisiana, Tennessee, Missouri, Louisiana and Arkansas all have identical voting records since 1972. Add West Virginia – with a slightly more Democratic voting record in that time – to the bunch and here we have the „Clinton 6 states“ from both 1992 and 1996 that went strongly against Democrat Obama in 2008. Interestingly enough, 4 of those states are directly on the Mason-Dixon line.


Now, to Louisiana: with the addition of the popular vote as the means for most states to calculate their Electors in 1824, LA showed very quickly its ability to switch sides from cycle to cycle. In 1824, LA did not yet use the PV as the means of deciding electors, it still selected them via State Legislature, but in 1828, LA moved to the PV method and gave Andrew Jackson, the founder of the Democratic Party of today, a lean win, but a massive landslide 4 years later, in 1832.


In 1836, another 4-way election that most have forgotten about, with one Democratic candidate (Martin Van Buren) and THREE „Whig“ candidates, LA (alongside OH and IN) voted for Van Buren, but in 1840, Harrison (Whig), whom Van Buren beat in 1826, was back and this time, he unseated incumbent Van Buren and in doing so, captured Louisiana by a landslide.


In 1844, LA returned to the Democratic Party and supported Polk with a narrow victory over Henry Clay. But in 1848, LA deserted the Democratic party and gave Whig Party standard bearer Zachary Taylor a 9 point victory. Then LA did a turnaround again in 1952 and returned to the Democratic Party, again with a lean win for Franklin Pierce. The way that LA switched sides so easily, one could call this state one of the „swing states“ of it's day.


The issue of slavery was hot in LA and the state was very unified on the issue. LA was decidedly pro-slavery. In 1856, as the debate raged and most knew that war was not far off, Louisiana decided to give James Buchanan (D) a try – in the absence of a GOP candidate on the ballot in LA – and gave him a lean 
+3.39% victory over former President Millard Fillmore.


As was the case in all of the South, the Democratic Party from the North did not win in LA in 1860; it only got 
15.10% of the vote. But the Southern Democrat, John Breckinridge, the Southern Democrat won the Bayou State with a lean +4.90% margin over Bell (Constitution Party). The GOP was not on the ballot in LA in 1860.

Because of the Civil War, LA did not participate in the 1864 Elections.


In 1868, LA remained faithful to the Democratic Party, even a northern Democrat, and gave Horatio Seymour (D) a massive 
+41.38% margin over General Ulysses Grant, but in 1872, LA had changed it's mind: Grant (R) garnered a +11.37% landslide win in a clean two-man race without any third party or scatter votes.

In the contentious Hayes-Tilden electoral backfire of 1876, officially, the public record gives Rutherford B. Hayes a lean 
+3.30% victory in LA. Samuel Tilden, the Democratic standard-bearer in that year, won in the PV by +3.00%. The election returns from four states were heavily disputed and both parties sent their own individual slate of electors to vote for the candidate they believe won: in FL, SC, OR and LA. There were massive screams of voter fraud on the side of the GOP in FL and especially in LA. This was the last time the GOP would win the Pelican State for 19 cycles or 80 years, until 1956.


1880 marked the beginning of a period of unprecedented Democratic dominance in Louisiana that would last 76 years: the Democratic Party would win 18 of the next 19 cycles, an Independent candidate would win won. The huge margins that would become par for the course puts LA in hot competition with states like SC and MS in terms of electoral intensity.


Through the gilded age, LA voted for every Democratic candidate: Winfield Hancock (1880, 
+24.96% margin), Grover Cleveland (1884, 1888 and 1892, with +14.85%+46.92% and +53.06%). Remember, 1880 through 1892 were all very close elections nationally, but LA swung way over the Democratic margin each time.


The trend continued with William Jennings Bryan, who won LA with 
+54.57% in 1896, +58.07% in 1900 and +72.70% (84.63% of the PV!) in 1908. In between, Alton Parker (D) did even better in 1904, with +78.84%.


Woodrow Wilson easily captured LA both times and with massive majority wins both times: 
+65.10% in 1912, +78.95% in 1916.

LA completely bucked the GOP national landslide trend from 1920-1928, rejected Harding, Coolidge and Hoover and gave massive margins to Cox (
+38.75%) in 1920, Davis (+56.21%) in 1924 and Smith (+52.58%) in 1928. Smith's catholicism played no negative role in this state, which was heavily catholic at that time.

The absolute record for LA was set by FDR in 1932, with a massive 
92.79% of the PV and a +85.77% winning margin. These are the kind of numbers we have only seen out of DC, and only in 2008. In 1936, with practically no where left to go, LA actually swung and trended slightly toward the GOP, but FDR still garnered 88.82% of the PV and another hard-to-imagine +77.66% margin. In 1940 and 1944, he continued to hold the state for the Democratic Party with +77.66% and +61.20%, respectively.


Democratic dominance in LA ended in1948, but the GOP did not yet profit from it: Strom Thurmond (States Rights Party), with just 
2.41% of the national PV, took 4 states in the south, worth 39 electors: (in order of margin): MS, AL, SC and LA. LA was a lean win for Thurmond, who got 49.07% of the vote to Truman's 32.75% (FDR just got 80.59% in 1944, to note...), or a +16.32% landslide margin for a third party candidate.


1952 was the year that proved that the electorate in LA was shifting: Adlai Stevenson (D) still won the state, but with a narrow 
+5.84% margin and a majority win of 51.73%. The issue of Civil Rights was broiling in LA and voters were starting to shift their allegiances, which they did in good number when LA flipped for incumbent Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956, giving him a majority win of 53.28% and a landslide +13.78% margin. The phenomenon of „unpledged electors“ was present in LA, and that „ticket“ got 7.21% of the vote in 1956.


That pattern would continue in 1960: „unpledged electors“ jumped to 
20.99% of the vote in LA, but John Kennedy, with a southern Democrat (Lyndon Baines Johnson) as his running mate, returned LA to the Democratic column with a landslide +21.83% margin.


Being a Southern Democrat did not help Johnson here in 1964: as if that was not enough political turbulence over 12 years, the state, infuriated over the passage of key portions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which President Johnson signed into law, voted for extreme right-wing Republican Barry Goldwater over the President with a clean majority win of 
56.81% and a +13.63% margin. Amazingly, the slate of „unpledged electors“ disappeared from the ballot in LA in 1964.


LA was one of the states that former Vice-President Richard Nixon had in his cross-hairs as part of his „Southern State Strategy“ in 1968. He had handily lost the state to John Kennedy and made a hard play for it in 1968, until George Wallace announced his candidacy as a third party candidate for the „American Independent“ Party, which was against de-segregation. Like Strom Thurmond 20 years before, George Wallace captured states in the South, 5 to be exact, here listed in order of margin: AL, MS, LA, GA and AR. Again, as in 1948, it was a high minority win for the third party candidate Wallace, who garnered 
48.32% of the vote and had a margin of +20.11% over Democratic Vice President Hubert Humphrey. Nixon only got 23.47% in LA that year, a much worse showing that Eisenhower or his showing from 1960, but better than John Dewey (R) in the similar three-man race of 1948 (Dewey got just 17.45%). Wallace won every Parrish in LA except 5 -and they were won by Nixon. Humphrey did not win a single Parrish in what was once one of the most Democratic states in the Union.


In 1972, after 4 years of Nixon, Louisanans gave the incumbent a blowout 
+36.97% victory over hapless George McGovern. 1972 was the year that transformed lots of lots of lifelong Democrats into lifelong Republicans in Louisiana.


That did not stop Louisiana from swinging wildly back to the Democratic party and giving southern Democrat Jimmy Carter a 
+5.78% landslide win, which made for a 42.75% partisan shift in the state, 1976 over 1972.

The table at the top of the report has been increased to 8 cycles to include Ronald Reagan as well. Here it is again:

Year
Rank
Winning %
% Margin
Part. Value
Swing“
National Swing
Trend
2008
44 / 08
58.56%
+18.63%
+25.89%
+4.12%
+9.72%
+13.84
2004
34 / 18
56.72%
+14.51%
+12.05%
+6.83%
+2.98%
+3.85
2000
31 / 21
52.55%
+7.68%
+8.20%
+19.75%
+8.00%
+11.75
1996
19 / 33
52.01%
+12.07%
+3.55%
+7.46%
+2.96%
+4.50
1992
24 / 28
45.58%
+4.61%
-0.95%
+14.82%
+13.29%
+1.53
1988
24 / 28
54.27%
+10.21%
+2.48%
-12.39%
-10.49%
+1.90
1984
31 / 21
60.77%
+22.60%
+4.38%
+17.15%
+8.48%
+8.67
1980
20 / 32
51.20%
+5.45%
-4.29%
+11.23%
+11.80%
+0.57


Reagan flipped LA with a lean 
+5.45% in 1980, but jumped to a blowout +22.60% winning margin in the Creole State in 1984. Louisianans really liked Reagan and there is no doubt that the Reagan Revolution put down deep roots in this former Democratic state.

In 1988, LA gave Bush, Sr. a leaner but still landslide 
+10.21% margin over Democrat Michael Dukakis. However, statistically, the state already started trending light Democratic in 1988.


In 1992, in a three-man race, Southern Democrat Bill Clinton from neighboring Arkansas, picked-up LA for the Democratic Party with a lean 
+4.61% and a minority win with 44.58% of the PV. But in 1996, Clinton did much better: he won LA in an outright majority win of 52.01% and a +12.07% margin.


LA had 9 EV in 2000. Had Al Gore from Tennessee held this once bastion Democratic state, then he would have been President. But George W. Bush, Jr. ran an extremely good campaign, especially in the South and swept the South. He easily won this state in 2000 and 2004 with 
+7.68% and +14.51%, respectively. Louisiana has not even been remotely in play since 2000.


McCain's +18.63% margin win in LA is:


-the 3rd largest of the 9 Republican wins in this state's history, after 1972 and 1984.

-the second highest GOP Trend Value of 2008, after AR.


-has shown increasing strength for the Republican party since 2000.


-Is the only time in the history of Electoral Politics where the GOP won three times in a row in LA.

Louisiana, Arkansas and the other 4 „Clinton 6“ states


Of all the states in the Union, no two states came as close to each other in winning margin as did Kansas and Nebraska, but Louisiana and neighbor state Arkansas also have a parallel history worth mentioning. McCain won AR with 
58.72% and by a +19.85% margin; he won LA with 58.56% and by a +18.63% margin. That is a difference of just 0.16% in percentage and 1.22% in margin, unbelievably parallel to the similarities between Tennessee and Kentucky, which are also neighbor states to each other...

These two neighbor states have a common voting record that, though not as far reaching as that of Tennessee and Kentucky, is similar in margin intensity and intensity of wild swings.


And just as TN and KY are next to each other in the partisan rankings, so LA and AR are next to each other. And it is interesting that 4 of these six „Clinton States“, as a group of 4 in a row (Conservative Rankings 10, 09, 08 and 07), are higher in the rankings than a number of GOP states that were considered absolute core states, like both Dakotas, Virginia, North Carolina and Indiana.


Here is a table of the voting records of the „Clinton 6“ arranged in the order of the most Republican voting record from 1952 onward, descending. The shadings help to see this and the bolded margins are the highest margins of the 6 states, per cycle:

The Clinton 6“

Year
Tennessee
Kentucky
Missouri
Louisiana
Arkansas
West Virginia
2008
15.06%
16.22%
0.13%
18.63%
19.85%
13.09%
2004
14.27%
19.86%
7.20%
14.51%
9.76%
12.86%
2000
3.86%
15.13%
3.34%
7.68%
5.44%
6.32%
1996
2.41%
0.96%
6.30%
12.07%
16.94%
14.75%
1992
4.65%
3.21%
10.15%
4.61%
17.72%
13.02%
1988
16.34%
11.64%
3.98%
10.21%
14.18%
4.74%
1984
16.27%
20.66%
20.05%
22.60%
22.18%
10.51%
1980
0.29%
1.46%
6.81%
5.45%
0.61%
4.51%
1976
13.00%
7.19%
3.63%
5.78%
30.01%
16.14%
1972
37.95%
28.60%
24.59%
36.97%
38.11%
27.22%
1968
3.83%
6.14%
1.13%
20.11%
7.64%
8.82%
1964
11.01%
28.36%
28.10%
13.63%
12.66%
35.87%
1960
7.14%
7.18%
0.52%
21.83%
7.13%
5.47%
1956
0.62%
9.09%
0.22%
13.78%
6.64%
8.16%
1952
0.27%
0.07%
1.56%
5.84%
12.14%
3.85%
1948
12.26%
15.26%
16.61%
16.32%
40.71%
15.08%
1944
21.23%
9.23%
2.94%
61.20%
40.11%
9.78%
1940
34.90%
15.14%
4.77%
71.80%
58.03%
14.20%
1936
38.10%
18.60%
22.59%
77.66%
63.94%
21.35%
1932
34.01%
18.91%
28.62%
85.77%
73.06%
10.00%
1928
7.72%
18.82%
11.43%
52.58%
20.96%
17.39%
1924
9.21%
2.96%
5.79%
56.21%
31.93%
5.38%
1920
3.10%
0.44%
11.43%
38.75%
19.76%
12.00%
1916
13.61%
5.41%
3.65%
78.95%
37.23%
0.94%
1912
28.80%
22.97%
17.60%
65.10%
34.55%
12.68%
1908
6.86%
1.71%
0.09%
72.70%
20.02%
10.25%
1904
10.83%
2.69%
3.90%
78.84%
15.10%
13.24%
1900
8.08%
1.71%
5.53%
58.07%
28.42%
9.52%
1896
5.76%
0.06%
8.71%
54.57%
48.61%
5.40%
1892
13.52%
11.73%
7.52%
53.06%
27.52%
2.44%
1888
6.49%
8.32%
4.93%
46.92%
16.75%
0.32%
1884
3.72%
12.40%
7.47%
14.85%
17.12%
3.19%
1880
9.00%
15.87%
13.83%
24.96%
17.47%
9.90%
1876
19.58%
23.98%
16.27%
3.30%
20.05%
14.60%
1872
4.32%
5.87%
11.81%
11.37%
4.35%
4.46%
1868
36.85%
49.10%
13.92%
41.38%
7.37%
17.66%
1864
---
---
---
---
---
36.47%
1860
3.17%
39.65%
39.44%
4.90%
16.01%
---
1856
4.36%
8.83%
0.26%
3.39%
34.24%
---
TOTAL
D 23 / R 14 / I 1
D 24 / R 13 / I 1
D 23 / R 15
D 24 / R 11 / I 3
D 27 / R 9 / I 2
D 21 / R 16

And here the direct comparison between AR and LA:


Year

Rank
Winning %
% Margin
Part. Value
Swing“
National Swing
Trend
2008
LA
44 / 08
58.56%
+18.63%
+25.89%
+4.12%
+9.72%
+13.84

AR
45 / 07
58.72%
+19.85%
+27.11%
+10.09%
+9.72%
+19.81
Diff:

1
AR +0.16%
AR +1.22%
AR +1.22%
AR +5.97%
---
AR +5.97









2004
LA
34 / 18
56.72%
+14.51%
+12.05%
+6.83%
+2.98%
+3.85

AR
29 / 23
54.31%
+9.76%
+7.30%
+4.32%
+2.98%
+1.34
Diff:

5
LA +2.41%
LA +4.75%
LA +4.75%
LA +2.51%
---
LA +2.51









2000
LA
31 / 21
52.55%
+7.68%
+8.20%
+19.75%
+8.00%
+11.75

AR
28 / 24
51.31%
+5.44%
+5.96%
+22.38%
+8.00%
+14.38
Diff:

3
LA +1.24%
LA +2.44%
LA +2.44%
AR +2.63%
---
AR +2.63









1996
LA
19 / 33
52.01%
+12.07%
+3.55%
+7.46%
+2.96%
+4.50

AR
11 / 41
53.74%
+16.94%
+8.42%
-0.78%
+2.96%
+3.74
Diff:

8
AR +1.73
AR +4.87%
AR +4.87%
LA +8.24%
---
LA +8.24









1992
LA
24 / 28
45.58%
+4.61%
-0.95%
+14.82%
+13.29%
+1.53

AR
04 / 48
53.21%
+17.72%
+12.16%
+31.90%
+13.29%
+18.61
Diff:

20
AR +7.63%
AR +13.11%
AR +13.11%
AR +17.08%
---
AR +17.08









1988
LA
24 / 28
54.27%
+10.21%
+2.48%
-12.39%
-10.49%
+1.90

AR
33 / 19
56.37%
+14.18%
+6.45%
-8.00%
-10.49%
+2.49
Diff:

9
AR +2.10%
AR +3.97%
AR +3.97%
AR +4.39%
---
AR +4.39









1984
LA
31 / 21
60.77%
+22.60%
+4.38%
+17.15%
+8.48%
+8.67

AR
28 / 24
60.47%
+22.18%
+3.96%
+21.57%
+8.48%
+13.09
Diff:

3
LA +0.30%
LA +0.42%
LA +0.42%
AR +4.42%
---
AR +4.42









1980
LA
20 / 32
51.20%
+5.45%
-4.29%
+11.23%
+11.80%
+0.57

AR
10 / 42
48.13%
+0.61%
-9.13%
+30.62%
+11.80%
+18.82
Diff:

10
LA +3.07%
LA +4.84%
LA +4.84%
AR +19.39%
---
AR +19.39



We see that for 6 of 8 cycles, 1988 and 2008 being the exceptione, LA has the somewhat more Republican voting record. AR voted more Democratic in 1992 and 1996, which means that automatically, LA voted more Republican. However, AR has generally had more conservative trends than LA.


Important details about LA:


Republicans:


-Since LA's entrance into the Electoral College, no Republican until between Grant and Eisenhower (1956).


-Since 1980, two 2-term Republicans have won LA both times: Reagan and Bush Jr.


-Two 2-term Republicans picked up Louisiana in their second terms: Eisenhower (1956), Nixon (1972).

Democrats:



-Every Democratic candidate between 1880-1944, won LA, regardless of the national margin, or 17 straight cycles.


-Four Democratic Presidents have won LA 2 (or more times): Cleveland (1884, 1888, 1892), Wilson (both times), FDR (all four times), Clinton (both times).


-One Democratic challenger (an „also ran“) won LA three times: Bryan (1896, 1900, 1908)


-Only one Democratic incumbent in LA history has lost LA in his re-election bid: Carter (1980)

Independents:


Three independent candidates have won LA: Breckinridge (1860), Thurmond (1948), Wallace (1968).
Ross Perot's showings as a third party candidate in 1992 and 1996 were unimpressive.




Based on its voting record, LA is not bellwether state, having missed the Electoral College winner in 8 of the last 27 cycles and having missed the PV winner in 9 of the last 27 cycles, and more recently, it has missed the Electoral College winner 3 times since 1960 and the PV winner 4 times since 1960.


Can LA become a battleground in 2012?


Most likely not. The continuing conservative trends in this state make it very unlikely that it could become a battleground. Even in a possible three-man race it would be likely that the GOP would score a majority win in this Gulf state. LA is just not the state of the Democratic forefathers.

LA Superlatives
YEAR
Candidate
Winning %
Winning margin
GOP
1972
Nixon
65.32%
+36.97%
DEM
1932
FDR
92.79%
+85.77%
IND
1948
---
1968
Thurmond
---
Wallace
49.07%
---
48.32%
+16.32%
---
20.11%
---------------------




All-time "squeaker"
1876
Hayes
51.65%
+3.30%

Notice that the leanest margin ever in LA is actually a pretty usual margin for a state like Ohio or Florida in recent times.


In Louisiana, the Governor, Lt. Governor, 1 Senator and 6 of 7 US Representatives are Republicans. The other Senators and 1 of 7 US Representatives are Democrats. In the
 Louisiana State Legislature, the Republicans have a hypermajority in the state Senate and a strong majority in the state House.

Facit: 
in 2007, I wrote: „Louisiana is a solid GOP bastion and probably has become more Republican since many refugees from KATRINA have been settled in other states. The recent election of Jindal with 52% against 3 different democratic contenders in a state with a mandatory run-off elimination election-system for candidates supports this thesis. „




Facit 2011: Louisiana is becoming a Republican „firewall“-state.

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