October 14, 2005


Storms Alter Louisiana Politics: Population Loss Likely to Reduce Influence of Black Voters (Michael A. Fletcher and Spencer S. Hsu, October 14, 2005, Washington Post)

The massive population shift caused by hurricanes Katrina and Rita holds seismic political implications for Louisiana, which faces a near-certain reduction of its congressional delegation and a likely loss in black-voter clout that could severely affect the state's elected Democrats.

Less than two months after Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, leaving much of New Orleans and surrounding areas unlivable, Louisiana officials are beginning to grapple with the bewildering new political landscape. The storms and resultant flooding caused more than 1 million residents to flee their homes, many for far-flung destinations from which they may never return.

In a public service announcement released yesterday, Coast Guard Vice Adm. Thad W. Allen, who is in charge of the federal government's recovery effort, said: "In many areas, like the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans . . . the areas will be uninhabitable for many years."

The unprecedented population shift is likely to have its first political impact in New Orleans, where Mayor C. Ray Nagin, who captured 44 percent of the black vote in 2002, and other municipal officials are facing a February election.

Bobby Jindal just has to decide whether he'd rather be Governor or Senator.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 14, 2005 8:19 AM

I wonder how many years they'll be able to use absentee ballots.

Posted by: Cracker Barrel Philosopher at October 14, 2005 8:38 AM

Set it for Detroit? Who would notice? I mean, have you actually been there recently?

Posted by: Mikey at October 14, 2005 9:09 AM

Look for the Louisiana Democrats to push something akin to a lifetime residency requirement exemption for New Orleans residents forced out of state by Katrina and the flooding aftermath. If you lived in New Orleans before Katrina -- heck, if you've ever lived in New Orleans in your life -- you can still vote in local and state elections, even if you've taken up residency elsewhere, because you never really wanted to leave the city and someday may even return.

Posted by: John at October 14, 2005 9:37 AM


Now Harriet Miers might have something to say about that.

Posted by: jim hamlen at October 14, 2005 10:12 AM

There was a hurricane, it's name was Coleman.

Posted by: Davde W. at October 14, 2005 10:36 AM

What choice? Senators don't become president, governors do.

Posted by: Timothy at October 14, 2005 11:35 AM


OJ and yourself are supporting a Senator for the Republican nomination.

Posted by: h-man at October 14, 2005 1:16 PM


I don't.

Posted by: oj at October 14, 2005 1:58 PM

If you've got a distinction between all the things you're saying about McCain and "support", I'd love to hear it.

Posted by: David Cohen at October 14, 2005 2:04 PM

He's not one of my top choices, but he'll be the nominee and he'll win handily enough to carry in a bunch of marginal GOP candidates. I can live with that.

Posted by: oj at October 14, 2005 2:12 PM

2008 doesn't count--McCain and Hillary are both Senators, though neither of them are running as senators. One's running as a former first lady, and the other one's running as the popular guy who almost won last time. If Jindal wants to wait until he's 72 to become President and then only serve one term, then I guess he can go for the Senate. But I assume he's smarter than that.

Unlike OJ, I'll actually admit to supporting McCain--though extremely conditionally.

Posted by: Timothy at October 14, 2005 6:06 PM

Well, it's not very conservative of you not to run around screaming about being betrayed if you don't get your absolutely first and yet politically untenable choice, but I can't really say that it's leftist of you, either.

Posted by: David Cohen at October 14, 2005 6:52 PM

Yes, note that it's the Left of the Right--neocons and libertarians--shrieking about Ms Miers.

Posted by: oj at October 14, 2005 6:57 PM

OJ: You are wrong about McCain and you are wrong about Souter.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at October 15, 2005 1:51 AM

I too could live with a President McCain.

Fortunately, I won't have to.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 15, 2005 3:39 PM