Monday, April 9, 2012

Can Republican Congressman John Fleming of Louisiana Be Beat ? (2012)

A little politics today. No matter what Louisiana shall be losing at least one Republican Congressman in 2012. What makes that worse is that because we are losing on Congressman period. That is because after the Census our delegation will decrease by one. So that means Republican Congressmen Landry  and Boustany in South Louisiana will be thrown into a nasty race against each other.

However the Louisiana Democratic party has their eyes on another seat perhaps. That is my Congressman Fleming in the 4th Congressional District. The New Orleans Picayune looked at this race slightly on Saturday. See Rep. John Fleming fails to intimidate Democrats with his tweets

The above is the current district for Fleming.

The above is the new District for Congressman Fleming.

At first glance the District  does look like it has a radical change. But the district has become more African American and perhaps a TAD  Democrat friendly with some Parishes and regions that are added. The final demographic tally on District 4 has it at 34.9 percent African-American by population and 32.6 percent by voter registration. This is a very slight increase. However some white Democratic voters in the new region might be less Fleming friendly.

I think this is a good seat still for Fleming , but his margin of error has been somewhat reduced. Espcially if the right North Louisiana Democrat can be found to run against him.

The Picayune article makes note of the 2008 race when Fleming narrowly defeated Former Caddo District Attorney Paul Carmouche. Carmouche would have won that seat if not for a hurricane. Because of the Hurricane all races got backed. So Carmouche did not have the African American vote out like that happened the night of his primary win. That would have been the night Obama was on the ballot. THIS YEAR OBAMA will be on the ballot which will hurt Fleming no doubt. However Paul Carmouche was a very popular conservative Democrat that took a lot of Fleming likely voters. Also that year Fleming had to compete in a very nasty Republican Primary which after effects no doubt hurt him. So it's a mixed bad looking at the race to try to read the tea leaves.

The question is can the Louisiana Democratic party find a Paul Carmouche like person with same levels of popularity that can eat into the Louisiana Democrat Fleming likely vote. That is a tall order but not impossible. One name mentioned and rumored about is Brian Crawford, the former chief of the Shreveport Fire Department.

Crawford could pose an interesting challenge to Fleming. From what I understand heis  well liked. But he still does not have the long time Courthouse crowd democratic connections that a person like Carmouche had. Still as I mentioned the room for error for Fleming I don't think is huge here.

Crawford best asset is he has Obama to help get African American vote out. Crawford worst liability is he also has Obama on the ballot.

The David Vitter / Charlie Melacon U.S. Senate race must give some Louisiana Democrats in the 4th Congressional District some case for alarm. Charlie Melacon was the only Democrat to run in the primary. It was a low turn out election pluse the Democrats running against Charlie were "no names" largely. Yet a significant number of Democrats ( about 30 percent) made it a point to vote again Melachon in the primary .  It's hard not to imagine that this was not an ANTI OBAMA ANTI NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY protest vote by these Louisiana registered Democrats. Vitter of course went on to handly beat Melacon in the general.

The question is how intense that anti Obama / anti National Democratic party feeling might be come the fall. If Obama looks like he headed to defeat this might help Crawford. However if Obama looks like he is crusing for a win it's hard to imagine that many Crawford friendly  voters would not make the tactical position to put Fleming back in.

This race I suspect will be very nationalized.

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