After reading this article http://thehayride.com/2013/08/bayham-an-early-look-at-next-years-us-senate-race/ it was apparent to me to provide more info. For those of you with little knowledge of what has happened over the last decade in Louisiana Politics, including some of the ‘Front Page Writers’ I will now supply some very pertinent information.
Pre-Katrina the state Democrat party had an absolute lock on New Orleans via electioneering (local ‘consultants’ had it down to when “Grandma Moses” preferred to be picked up to be taken a few blocks to the local precinct down to the minute of the day) and registered voting rolls remained unpurged..
Post-Katrina the rolls were purged statewide, first by Democrat Secretary of State Al Ater and then again by his successor, GOP Secretary of State Jay Dardenne. Additionally, with all the disarray caused by the exodus and return of former residents of New Orleans, contact info of voters to the electioneers was in a shambles.
Politically, Mary Landrieu had been quite friendly to numerous large businesses, especially those in the shipbuilding and offshore supply boat industries going to bat for them in government contracts with various agencies, including DoD & USCG. That gave her the “Coastal Vote.” she was also quite savvy in obtaining lots of grants for all the sheriff departments around the state. There is not a more powerful political base than local sheriffs, not Tea Party, not LAGOP, not LA DEMS, not even the governor himself.
The first real chance that the GOP had to defeat Mary Landrieu after she was elected, was in 2008, after the voting roll purges and electioneering disruption. While some may say that her opponent, John Kennedy lost the race because he was nothing more than a RINO after being flipped to the GOP by Karl Rove is a lack of knowledge.
True, Kennedy had to swim against the current due many sheriffs (even those registered as GOP)
endorsed Landrieu, but he was a popular State Secretary of Treasury who had railed against Gov. Blanco’s handling of funds from the Feds regarding Katrina reconstruction. He was a loud and proud fiscal hawk, and still is. Though some may dispute some of his contentions, he was at least vocally fighting for taxpayers and against waste/fraud.
Here was the problem in 2008, Kennedy squandered a commanding lead in early polling. He simply did not campaign, neither for fundraising nor for votes, until the final months before election.
The 2008 campaign was frustrating, to say the least. Kennedy could have had thousands of volunteers out knocking on doors, putting up yard signs, etc… but there were none, at least none in Baton Rouge. While out campaigning for Cassidy (you can knock on a lot of doors between the hours of 5:30PM and dark, 5 days per week for 3 months) the constant complaint (even in the ‘hood’) was why haven’t we seen, received or heard of anything from McCain and Kennedy. At least in the Baton Rouge Metro Area, Cassidy’s supporters carried the weight for both Kennedy and McCain and only by word of mouth. I cannot begin to tell you how many conservative voters thought him unqualified because of the lack of his having any campaign.
Cassidy won after coming from a 10 pt deficit in the final months. McCain did well locally just because Louisianians are used to be left in the cold by presidential candidates. Kennedy lost by more than polling data suggested he would.
Even on Election Day, Cassidy’s volunteers were sign waving at busy intersections and did the work for the Kennedy & McCain campaigns with signs the scrounged up from where I don’t know, because I could not get anything from either of those campaigns. We did buy a large McCain sign off the internet.