Thursday, October 30th, 2014
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
LOUISIANA VOTERS — WON’T GET FOOLED AGAIN!
To many electoral observers across the country, Louisiana is the synergy of the political universe. Nowhere is there such a concentration of political interest – right? Wasn’t it a Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives who said if you want to get a graduate degree on successful politics, go down to Louisiana? And who can forget former Governor Earl Long’s final wish on his deathbed: “Or Lord, when I die, bury me in Louisiana so I can stay active in politics.” There’s more interest and participation in political campaigns in Louisiana than in any other place in the country. Or is there?
A new study by the Wallethub Foundation shows a significant drop in voter participation in the Bayou State. Louisiana has slid down the scale, tying with Michigan for a run of the mill 14th place in the rankings of civically engaged Americans. The study took in a number of factors, ranging from the percentage of registered voters in the 2012 presidential election to the total political contributions per adult population.
Neighboring Mississippi, far and away out ranks Louisiana in voter participation. Young voters (18 to 24) in Mississippi out rank Louisiana by more than 20 points, at 64 percent compared to Louisiana’s 42 percent. Seniors in Mississippi are far ahead in going to the polls with an 82 percent participation rate compared to Louisiana at 74 percent. A long list of Midwestern and East Coast states turn out for elections at a significantly higher level than in Louisiana.
So what has happened in the deepest of the deep southern states, where being active in politics has been a part of the state’s DNA for decades? Politics used to be a way of life in the Bayou State, where the Longs and the anti-Longs, Sam Jones and the reformers, oil money, Edwin Edwards and the rise of Cajun country created lots entertainment. After all, You Are My Sunshine is the state song. Continue Reading………