White Democrats a Dying Breed in Louisiana

An analysis of voter registration in Louisiana since the 2000 Presidential Primary shows a remarkable decline in the number of white Democrats in the state. In fact, it would be fair to say white Democrats are fleeing the Democratic Party by the hundreds of thousands. While there has been modest growth in voter registration by black Democrats, it does not begin to offset the party’s loss of white Democrats.
Since 2000, the number of white Democrats in Louisiana has declined from 943,649 to 528,353 — a loss to the party of 415,296 white voters.  In that same period, the number of black Democrats statewide has increased by only 63,614 voters — from 655,601 in 2000 to 719,215 today.
Since 2000, Republicans have picked up roughly 269,000 new voters.
In years past, traditional political wisdom held that the relative strength of the two parties in Louisiana could be gauged by comparing the number of black Democrats to the number of white Republicans. The theory was that Republican could get about 50 percent of white Democratic support.
In 2000, there were roughly 90,000 more black Democrats than white Republicans, and Louisiana was considered a blue state. Today, there are 120,000 more white Republicans than black Democrats, and the state is solidly red.
By that standard, East Baton Rouge Parish is now solidly Democratic. However, what is not known is how the large and growing number of independent voters, both black and white, will effect the political outcome at election time.
Elections in  2019 will put all such theories to the test.

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