WHITHER THE NOLA CONVENTIONAL WISDOM?

Sat, 22 Apr 2006 05:10:29

It’s nearly upon us; even I’m a bit worn out from writing about today’s election. Yeah I know   I’ve been mainlining the election for weeks but even a politcal junkie needs a break. Mine will come on Sunday. As the late great Warren Zevon would have surely said at this point: “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.”

Now you’re probably asking yourself: what the hell does this have to do with the entry title? Not a helluva lot but like the candidates and their peeps I’m tired punchy and in need of a few shots of Wild Turkey on the rocks as an insomnia cure. Before moving on to the topic at hand Ashley Morris posted some terrific election related entries Friday. Check ’em out. Ashley’s been on fire this week I hope there’s a fire extinguisher in his domicile…

On to the NOLA CW. Most of the local pundits expect this election to follow recent patterns which means that the voters will split along racial lines. That’s the CW according to pollsters Silas Lee Susan Howell and yuppie cretin Conventional Wisdom Dubos. And they COULD be right. But this election is skewed weird twisted; name your adjective there’s something odd in the air post-K.  My colleague the Lord of the Librarians gave his predictions earlier today. Here’s his call in the Mayor’s race:  “Nagin 25% Landrieu 20% Forman 15% Couhig 9% Boulet 7% Watson 7% Wilson 5% Other Nuts split remaining.”

It’s a respectable guess but I think that Landrieu will run first and finish at least 5 points ahead of the second place finisher. I think that Mitch will do better than expected among black voters. The race for second will be between Nagin and Couhig. Yeah that’s right: I think Couhig is the candidate with momentum and he could even squeeze past C Ray into the run-off. Gorilla Ron Forman is dropping like a stone among conservative New Orleanians and Couhig is picking up his votes. Gorilla Ron will finish fourth. I think Tom Watson is going to surprise and get a lot of protest votes: I think he’ll get at least 10% of the vote. Lots of black folks never cared for C Ray and are royally pissed off at him post-K. The Rev will be their vehicle to send a message to Mayor Jive Talk. C Ray’s loose lips may finally sink his ship…

Back to the NOLA CW. The pundits are convinced that C Ray will get the bulk of the black vote in the primary and will make the run-off where he’ll get 80% of the African-American vote. I’m skeptical: he was *never* popular with working class and poor black folks and post-K lost the bulk of his black middle class support.  In New Orleans yard signs are a good indicator of support and there are very few Nagin yard signs around town; even in predominantly African-American neighborhoods Uptown that have repopulated post-K.  I lived in a racially mixed neighborhood and few of my black neighbors plan to vote for C Ray. This is all anecdotal BUT it’s what I keep hearing all over town. If I’m wrong sue me in the virtual court of  opinion. I can take a punch. Hey I didn’t mean that literally…

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