LOUISIANA 9 Electoral Votes
Bush-Cheney Gore-Lieberman
Campaign Campaign
Bush-Cheney Field Staff: Jonathan Yarborough, Michael Eby
Office: 7916 Wrenwood Blvd, Ste. C, Baton Rouge (same bldg as Rep. Party of LA)

Victory 2000 Exec. Dir.: Dee Dee Lancaster 

Republican Party of Louisiana
Chairman: Pat Brister
Exec. Dir.: Becky Miller Nictakis 
Office: 7916 Wrenwood Blvd, Baton Rouge

Gore-Lieberman State Director: Carol Speer
...directed U.S. Sen. Russell Long's state office in Louisiana until his retirement in 1980, state director for Clinton/Gore '92; worked in law firm until 1994; treasurer for Sen. John Breaux's campaign committee and for several other campaigns.
Political Director: Roderick Scott
Press Secretary: Renee Lapeyrolerie
Office: 236 N. 3rd St., Baton Rouge (same bldg as LA Dem. Party)

Coordinated Campaign Director: Terrence Tolbert

Louisiana Democratic Party
Chairman: Ben Jeffers
Exec. Dir.: Trey Ourso
Office: 263 N. 3rd St., Suite 102, Baton Rouge

Candidate Travel (Aug. 1-Nov. 7)
GWB: 2 visits
DC: 3 visits
Candidate Travel (Aug. 1-Nov. 7)
AG: 3 visits
JL: 0 visits
Oct. 31 -- DC Victory 2000 rally at Pontchartrain Center, Kenner (New Orleans).
Oct. 25 -- DC Victory 2000 rally at Louisiana Aircraft West Hangar, Baton Rouge Metro Airport, Baton Rouge.
Oct. 24 -- AG and TG rally, TAC Air, Shreveport
Oct. 20-21
Oct. 20 -- 1. AG and TG DNC dinner, Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans ($).  2. AG and TG DNC reception/jazz concert, Orpheum Theatre, New Orleans ($).  3. AG and TG rally at Woldenberg Park, New Orleans
Oct. 21 -- AG breakfast meeting with African American clergy and Democratic leaders at Hotel Intercontinental, New Orleans.
Oct. 6 -- DC and LC Victory 2000 rally at Health and Physical Education Bldg, LSU, Shreveport.
Sept. 7-8
Sept. 7 -- AG rally, Jackson Square, New Orleans.
Sept. 8 -- AG discusses importance of job training, Delgado Community College, New Orleans
Sept. 1 -- GWB Victory 2000 rally and meets with family who would benefit under tax cut plan, Lafayette Regional Airport, Lafayette.
Aug. 24 -- 1. GWB Leadership Forum on Higher Education, Dillard University, New Orleans.  2. GWB Remarks at Louisiana Republican Party Luncheon at the Fairmont Hotel, New Orleans ($).
A Sampling of More Campaign Activity A Sampling of More Campaign Activity
Nov. 1-3 -- Louisiana GOP Victory 2000 bus tour "To Bush [St. Tammany Parish] from Cheneyville [Rapides Parish]" including Liz Cheney Perry [daughter of Dick Cheney; she is an attorney at White & Case, LLP in Washington, DC].  Bush sister Doro Bush Koch spoke at the closing event in Bush. 

Oct. 30 -- Former President George H.W. Bush rallies at Castine Center in Mandeville (St. Tammany Parish).

Oct. 23 -- "Barnstorm for Reform" Govs. Keating (OK), Johanns (NE) Texas Democrat Texas state Rep. Ron Lewis visit senior center in River Ridge/New Orleans and, joined by Gov. Foster (LA), stop at Westdale Elementary in Baton Rouge.

Oct. 14 -- Liz Cheney Perry visits Ouachita Parish Victory 2000 headquarters in Monroe, speaks to Louisiana Federation of Republican Women in Franklin and visits a Bush-Cheney tailgate party at McNeese State University in Lake Charles.

Sept. 8 -- Launch of Veterans for Bush-Cheney, headed by Maj. Gen. James E. Livingston, USMC (Ret).

Oct. 31 -- Former Texas Gov. Ann Richards speaks at a fundraising luncheon at a hotel in New Orleans.

Oct. 30 -- Mayor Marc Morial and Jesse Jackson hold press conference; Morial was doing a series of events.

approx. Oct. 1 -- Karenna Gore Schiff morning coffee with women at a home in Monroe, speaks to students at Grambling State University (with Max Kennedy, son of RFK, co-director of the Watershed Institute), and does grand opening of campaign office in Alexandria.

Sept. 26 -- DNC chairman Joe Andrew breakfast with Democratic supporters in Baton Rouge and speaks to Democratic supporters in Lafayette (conservative part of the state).

Sept. 12 -- Education Secretary Richard Riley speaks in support of Gore at Bossier Parish Community College.

Sept. 6-7 -- Tipper Gore.  Sept. 6 Addresses supporters at Holiday Inn Downtown in Shreveport; addresses supporters at Southern University in Baton Rouge; meets with supporters at Mike Anderson's Seafood Restaurant in Baton Rouge; addresses supporters at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond.  Sept. 7 Joined by Mayor Marc Morial, supporters and a jazz band, Mrs. Gore boards streetcar at the Carrollton Transit Station in New Orleans and campaigns along the route, then attends the opening of the Louisiana Coordinated Campaign office on St. Charles Street; in the evening she joins AG for the big rally in Jackson Square.

early Sept. -- Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater press conference for Gore at the airport in New Orleans.

New Orleans Mayor Marc Morial was active for Gore not only in Louisiana, but nationally, doing considerable travel in the fall.

Television Television
Some Newspaper Endorsements Some Newspaper Endorsements
Times-Picayune (New Orleans) --10/29/00
The Daily Advertiser (Lafayette)
Shreveport Times
Newspapers that did not Endorse in the Presidential Race
The Advocate (Baton Rouge)
"For some years, we have had a policy of not endorsing in any race...  The only exception to the no-endorsement policy in recent years was the David Duke/Edwin Edwards race for governor." Bill Bankston

Miscellaneous Notes Miscellaneous Notes
The Democrats' massive registration advantage is something of a historical artifact.  For decades, in the South and in Louisiana there was not much of a Republican party; various Democratic candidates competed in the primaries and if voters wanted to pick from among them they had to register Democratic.  In 1975 a new Constitution came into effect which brought about an open primary system, under which the top two finishers, regardless of party, compete in the general election.  The open primary has created a more nonpartisan environment than is found in many states.  Republicans still lag in voter registration, but they have been making gains in electing officials, starting with the election of David Treen as governor in 1979. 

Five of the seven members of the congressional delegation are Republican (Rep. Tauzin switched to the Republican party in 1995).  In 1995 Louisianans elected a Republican, Mike Foster, as governor; they re-elected him in 1999.  Thus Louisianans can be conservative.

Louisiana is a major producer of oil and gas, so energy issues, including the question of drilling for oil and gas in the Gulf of Mexico, receive a significant amount of attention.  Bush's oil background likely gave him an advantage in this constituency. 

Democrats for Bush
Rep. Hunt Downer (D-Houma), first elected in 1976, chaired a Democrats for Bush effort that was possibly the most active of any state.  Downer first met then-Gov. Bush in 1997 when, as Speaker of the Louisiana House of Representatives, he led a delegation to Texas.  Downer was impressed and right there offered his support to Bush in the event he decided to run for president; however, Bush said he had to focus on his re-election campaign.  Thereafter the two exchanged occasional notes. 

Downer was among the 44 Louisiana state representatives, including 21 Democrats, who signed a May 5, 1999 letter urging Bush to seek the presidency and pledging their "enthusiastic support."  [Some of these members backed away in the general election].

When the campaign geared up in the fall of 2000, Downer went out and started contacting Democratic officials.  He crisscrossed the state, stumping for Bush and taking every opportunity to "preach compassionate conservatism."  On Sept. 1 he was one of the introductory speakers at the Bush rally held at Lafayette Regional Airport, on Sept. 8 he addressed the Calcasieu Parish Republican Roundtable meeting, on Oct. 11 he spoke to Lions, Kiwanians and Rotarians at a luncheon at Paul's Restaurant in DeRidder, Oct. 24 found him speaking to the Acadiana Republican Women at a luncheon in Lafayette, and there were other such appearances.  "If there was a group of ten people, I'd talk to them," he said. 

Downer argued America "needed a president who understood how to play nonpartisan politics" in order to break the gridlock, and he urged audiences to vote for the candidate "who has your values, shares your philosophy."  Rep. Charles "Charlie Mac" McDonald (D-Bastrop) co-chaired Democrats for Bush. 

As a postscript, on Feb. 9, 2001 in the Roosevelt Room at the White House, President Bush officially welcomed Downer into the Republican party.

Key Parish
Jefferson Parish, adjacent to Orleans Parish, put up 105,003 votes for Bush/Cheney to 70,411 for Gore/Lieberman.  (By comparison, in 1996 92,820 voted for Dole/Kemp and 80,407 for Clinton/Gore).

Expectations for Gore in Louisiana were high because of the successful Clinton campaigns in 1992 and 1996 and because the state has two Democratic U.S. Senators. 

Nationwide African Americans went solidly for Gore, and Louisiana has a sizable African American population.  According to the 2000 Census, African Americans account for 32.5% of Louisiana's population, while the Louisiana Department of Elections and Registration reported that as of Oct. 26, 2000 28.9% of registered voters were black. 

To win statewide a Democratic candidate must appeal to independents and Reagan Democrats in southwest Louisiana, where oil and gas and farming are major industries.  Gore's environmentalist image made it very difficult to appeal to these voters.  Gore was suspect among backers of the oil and gas because of his opposition to offshore drilling off California and Florida.  He did make a few general remarks in support of natural gas during a speech at Delgado Community College on Sept. 8, 2000.  However, not until the rally at Woldenberg Park in New Orleans on Oct. 20, 2000 did Gore come up with the "proper" formulation on the issue. 

Gore's campaign manager Donna Brazile is a native of New Orleans.

Orleans Parish (New Orleans) put up 137,630 votes for Gore/Lieberman to 39,404 for Bush/Cheney. (By comparison, in 1996 144,720 voted for Clinton/Gore and 39,576 for Dole/Kemp). 

Nader did not visit Louisiana in the fall.  (His one visit came on April 18-19, including a speech at Loyola University.  At this event, supporters raised the $500 required to put him on the ballot and initiated the first attempts at forming a Green Party in Louisiana.  By September locals had formed in New Orleans, the North Shore, Baton Rouge and Lafayette).

The Nader campaign's "Corporate Influence Clean Up Crew" van toured Louisiana in early November.  Starting in Monroe on Nov. 1, it traveled to Shreveport, Alexandria, Lake Charles, Lafayette and Baton Rouge, pulling into New Orleans on the evening of Nov. 5.  Tonya Jordan, Nader's Louisiana coordinator, observed, "Nader volunteers greeted the van in each city, and special events featuring the Clean Up Crew were held in Lafayette, Baton Rouge, and New Orleans.  The van received some press coverage -- albeit minimal -- at each stop, excluding Lake Charles and Alexandria."  Jordan summarized the campaign:

"I was hired by the Nader campaign as State Field coordinator in late August.  Within a few weeks, a preliminary, statewide campaign structure was in place.  We had local volunteer coordinators in five cities and individuals active in smaller and rural areas.  In the three largest cities -- New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Lafayette -- there were also media coordinators, who interacted with the local press in some fashion, student coordinators, who worked with campus Green groups, and outreach coordinators, who organized events within our respective communities.  We also had individuals who focused their efforts on local fundraising.  We held rallies, wrote letters to the editor, spoke on radio shows, staged both live and broadcast debates, and canvassed door-to-door.  All of this was done by individuals with little or no previous experience in campaigning or politics..."
Nader received 20,473 votes (1.16%) compared to the 4,719 votes he garnered in his 1996 non-campaign.

Campaign Coordinator: Tonya Jordan.
Louisiana Field Office: 1500 Prytania Street, New Orleans (lower garden district) --opened mid-September.

Pat Buchanan visited Louisiana Sept. 27-29.  On the evening of Sept. 27 he attended a reception at a private home in Old Metairie.  On Sept. 28 in New Orleans he rode the street car ride from his hotel to the French Quarter, where he stopped in at Cafe du Monde for coffee and beignets.  In Metairie he joined Rev. Billy Shanks in prayer outside the Causeway Medical Clinic.  In the evening he spoke at American Legion Hall.

Buchanan had a history in Louisiana, having triumphed in the state's Feb. 6, 1996 Republican caucuses.  As a Republican candidate in the first part of 1999, Buchanan been organizing for the planned Jan. 15, 2000 first-in-the-nation caucus (canceled Dec. 15, 1999).   After he switched to the Reform Party in late Oct. 1999, Louisiana was one of the first stops Buchanan made; he spoke at the Louisiana Reform Party Convention in New Orleans on Nov. 6, 1999.  In contrast to what later developed in some other states, where long-time Reform Party members felt trod upon by the Buchanan forces, in Louisiana an accord was reached amicably.  Before Buchanan made the switch, a group of conservative Republicans including Dottie Watson, a long-time Buchanan supporter, approached the chair of the state party, Deede Mule of Metairie (she had chaired the state party since 1999).  Mule met with them and offered an open door; if they wanted to run candidates that was fine, and they also gained one of three committee positions.  Buchanan also visited the state on April 26, 2000, doing a luncheon fundraiser and a town hall meeting in Baton Rouge and a fundraiser in Old Metairie.  Another Louisiana note: Buchanan's running mate, Ezola Foster, was born in Louisiana.

Louisiana produced one of Buchanan's better showings nationwide, 0.81%.

Copyright 2000, 2001  Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action.