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3.7.06

McCrery, Boustany should fend off announced challengers

Hope springs eternal, and it’s always nice to see optimism springing from longshot candidates for office, but that doesn’t change the fact that such announced Congressional hopefuls to date for Louisiana this fall have a better chance of winning the lottery than a seat in the House of Representatives.

A month ago, Democrat the Rev. Artis Cash announced his bid for the 4th District seat held by the incumbent Republican Rep. Jim McCrery. Cash is best known for his accusations that racism lies behind some actions of Shreveport police and city government, as well as personal financial problems. Added to his checkered past, this creates a virtual impossibility for Cash to win against McCrery, against whom even any well-known, less-controversial Democrat politician would have a hard time defeating. Ever since the election after the 1992 redistricting (which threw him into a race against another sitting congressman), McCrery has cruised to victory and remains very popular in the district.

Perhaps more realistic would be the chances of Democrat Mike Stagg against 7th District Republican incumbent Rep. Charles Boustany. Until Boustany won two years ago, except for a brief interlude caused by the party-switching of former Rep. Jimmy Hayes, the area comprising this district always had been represented by a Democrat. Freshmen representatives also are the most vulnerable, and Stagg even has a little experience running a campaign for a high office as he sought the governorship in 2003.

However, his campaign was, to say the least, underwhelming as he finished with about two-fifths of a vote per precinct in the state. This does not deter him, for now he says he’s ready to run a more focused campaign. He cites the example of the late Sen. Paul Wellstone from Minnesota in his initial 1990 campaign, where Democrat Wellstone was outspent seven-to-one by incumbent Republican Rudy Boschwitz but who won regardless.

I hate to burst any illusions, but Stagg’s situation and Wellstone’s are very different. Wellstone had run competitively in 1982 in a statewide contest, and for the next eight years built a network of activists statewide. He also won a party primary giving him the entire state party machine to help him; no comparable help exists for a Democrat in this contest. And, unlike Louisiana, Minnesota has a rich tradition of political independence (perhaps even better exemplified by Jesse Ventura’s successful independent candidacy for governor a few years later) that provides much more for support for political underdogs/outsiders.

Stagg’s only chance of winning outside of incredible bad fortune for Boustany is to mount a serious campaign with resources. All indications are that he expects not to do that, so both he and Cash should expect not to win. On the other side of the coin, McCrery looks unbeatable against any challenger, and it’s going to take a well-funded, well-connected Democrat to get more than 40 percent of the vote against Boustany.

2 comments:

Nick said...

Mike Stagg is part of the Howard Dean crowd of Democrats. He is part of the group that runs LafayetteDemocrats.blogspot.com. The site is mostly maintained by Anthony Fazzio, an anti-business trial lawyer who must think that 90% of the Gitmo detainees are innocent. I have had many exchanges with Mr. Fazzio on my blog, and I guess he assumes that because he is some big shot attorney, he automatically is more intellegent than anyone else.

Stagg and his clan will have to hide his "Bush is worse than the terrorists" rhetoric to even have a shot at unseating Boustany. The only problem is that there are some Independent conservatives, such as myself, who are currently really ticked off at the Republican Party, that we may consider voting opposite of the Repub. Legislative incumbent come this Fall.

http://conservativecajun.blogspot.com/2006/04/conservative-cajun-voting-democrat.html

Anonymous said...

Chester T. Kelley (R) continues to gain support in his bid to unseat Jim McCrery. Have you noted his campaign? You can find his site at http://www.chesterkelley.com