Why the Democrats stupidly wrote off Louisiana too quickly.

As you no doubt know, the Democrats got their clocks cleaned last night in two House seat runoff elections and one Senate one. The question is, could they have done better? – Actually, no, the question is, could they have done much better? …And the answer may indeed be ‘yes’ in both cases. Please note: a lot of this is going to be a discussion on how much or how little the rubble might have bounced, so keep that in mind.

Let’s start with the Senate race. All numbers here from AOSHQDD: they’re not the certified results, but they’re going to be fine for this analysis.

Election Runoff LA-SEN
619,397 561,099 Democrat
603,045 Cassidy
202,554 Maness
805,599 712,330 Total GOP
1,424,996 1,273,429

The total drop-off for that election was 91% for the Democrats, 88% for the GOP, and 89% overall. In other words: the Democrats managed to retain more of their Election Day voters than the Republicans did. Mary Landrieu still got destroyed in the general because the people who voted for Rob Maness clearly decided to show up for Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA)Heritage ActionScorecardRep. Bill Cassidy59%House Republican AverageSee Full Scorecard59%, too. This was not particularly contested by Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Mary Landrieu4%Senate Democrat AverageSee Full Scorecard4%, probably because she had limited resources and clearly decided that she needed to boost her own side’s turnout more than she needed to depress her opponent’s turnout. Considering that Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Mary Landrieu4%Senate Democrat AverageSee Full Scorecard4%‘s base was mostly African-American – a demographic that’s hard to get to turn out, historically – she didn’t actually do a bad job.

Now, figuring out how this stacks up historically is problematical: Senate races in Louisiana for the last couple of decades have largely avoided runoffs. However, we have two House races from this year to consider. LA-05 and LA-06: both were safe seats for the GOP, both were won in blowouts last night, and (not coincidentally) …read more    

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