Search This Blog


Dynamics give Cao unusual chance to win the Second

Given that Democrat Rep. Bill Jefferson has a tremendous legal cloud over him and the presence of the inspiring story of his challenger Republican attorney Anh “Joseph” Cao in the contest for the Second District Dec. 6, does Vietnamese Cao have a chance to defeat black Jefferson even in a district where half the registered voters are black Democrats, Republicans make up only a little over 11 percent of the electorate, and only a minority of the roughly 7.5 percent that comprise “other” race voters are Vietnamese?

Actually, if you go by the numbers, yes. We must recall that in the upcoming election that now Republicans will be able to vote, and few if any will vote for Jefferson, and that some substantial portion of the vote for his runoff opponent was an anti-Jefferson vote that could transfer to Cao in the general election.

Most Republicans are white, and the statistics show that blacks outnumbered whites nearly 3:1 in the primary, but only 2:1 in the total electorate. Further, Jefferson did experience some slippage among blacks in that primary vote. Looking at precincts (about 20 percent of the total) that were at least 90 percent black and less than 2.5 percent white, the Jefferson vote on average was 10.5 points less than the percentage of blacks minus the percentages of other races and of white, meaning only about 90 percent of blacks voted for Jefferson.

That noted, whether these race defectors would support an Asian Republican is another matter, but surely there are some that would as some of these district showed much lower supports rates for Jefferson, some only supporting him in the mid-60s range. More intriguing is the question whether the other race population will defect in much larger numbers. Analyzing the relationship between race and vote, while black percentage registration almost perfectly correlated to vote for Jefferson (positively, while about the same high statistics was noted for white percentage registration but negatively), the statistic for other races was a bout half as power and also negatively related to Jefferson vote proportion. This suggests a much more even splitting of the vote among these voters.

More intriguingly, Jefferson seemed to gain little white support in the runoff. Only about 4 percent of all precincts had at least 80 percent white and no more than 5 percent black populations, but of those, the Jefferson vote on average was only 5 percent more than the black population in the district. Again, partisanship may make some whites support Jefferson against Cao, but this suggests that, reversing the typical pattern, there could be more defection among blacks from Jefferson than willingness to support him among whites.

Finally, turnout must be considered, which overall counting a vote for any office was a little over 54 percent, varying depending upon race and partisanship. Relevant here is that it was about 60 percent for white Democrats, 59 percent for Republicans, 57 percent for black Democrats, and 45 percent for other race voters. Therefore, we can run a model using these turnout figures and assuming Jefferson gets 5 percent of the white vote and 90 percent of the black vote, Cao gets the reverse but all Republican votes, and they split anyone else left over.

The overwhelming black Democrat advantage would give Jefferson the advantage at about 60 percent, whereas in the primary he won with only 56 percent. Since Cao is getting all the Republicans, it should be closer but what this demonstrates is that Jefferson did worse in the runoff in the higher-turnout districts which tend to be more affluent. This is what gives Cao a chance.

Two years ago when the last runoff in December was held for the district, turnout was miserably below 20 percent. If lower-income blacks disproportionately do not turn out relative to whites, Republicans, and higher-income blacks, that recipe may fall right for Cao. By the numbers, if black Democrats fall to their 2006 level of turnout, about 14 percent, while the others double their historical rates to about 30 percent, Cao gets a majority of about 4,000 out of 52,000. This would be 10,000 fewer votes than in 2006, however, and of that extra 10,000 Jefferson probably would get most. Yet if Cao gets better than half of other race voters (the least likely to turn out), any lower turnout among non-black Democrats could be offset.

This is a longshot. Still, the unusual dynamics witnessed in the Democrat runoff, no doubt a product of Jefferson’s tainted status, is what gives the GOP any chance at all to grab this seat.

1 comment:

Michael S. Kerr said...

Mr. Jeffery Sadow,

My name is Michael Kerr and I am the editor of Red County. We are a part of the Partisan Media Group. We are in the process of expanding our network and are currently identifying the right person for the the Louisiana site.

Red County is determined to help resurrect the GOP by highlighting issues and individuals who support our vision of spreading a genuine conservative message. We believe that a local, grassroots effort is necessary to rebuild the Republican brand name and regain the confidence of the American people.

Red County is a high profile political forum which allows writers to gain a great deal of exposure for their work. In addition to the blog network, Red County publishes a magazine. We have some well known conservative writers contributing to the project. (Victor Davis Hanson, Michael Medved, Hugh Hewitt) We are routinely picked up by national media; FOX News and CNN, most recently.

Our organization is well connected in the political arena and we have access to many of the major players in the Republican Party. Newt Gingrich, Bobby Jindal, Mitt Romney, Fred Thomson and Rudy Giuliani have all been featured in our publication. Here is an interview we did with Ted Nugent and another with Ann Coulter.

I have read your work and I think you may be a great fit for Red County Louisiana. If you would be interested in participating, we would like to hear from you. Please feel free to e-mail or call at your convenience.

Best Regards,

Michael Kerr
Red County
Partisan Media Group
(206) 387-3625