The most unusual of all elections ends tonight. The campaign for Mayor of New Orleans has been contested outside the city and outside the state of Louisiana. With over half of the population dispersed because of last year' s Hurricane Katrina, Mayor Ray Nagin
and his run-off opponent Lt. Governor Mitch Landrieu have had to campaign across the country.
Satellite polling places were step up across the Pelican State, people were bussed in from Houston, Atlanta and various environs and fax machines were humming as 24,000 faxed and absentee ballots were sent. Only 20,000 were received in the April General election that was won my Mayor Nagin.
Mr. Nagin's, www.reelectmayornagin.com
, victory last month was a surprise to many who expected the now majority white city to elect its first white mayor in three decades. But the mayor surprised them receiving 38% of the vote. However, that means 62% of the voters cast they ballots for someone else and over 90% of whites voted for someone other than him.
Today he will have to assemble a broad coalition to hold off challenger Mitch Landrieu, www.mitchformayor.com
, who cobbled together an impressive alliance in April.
The Lt. Governor amassed support from all sections of the city including 24% of the African American vote. We think his support from African Americans will remain about the same or maybe decrease some as African Americans may rally around the Mayor, but that his overall take of white voters will increase and pave the way to victory.
That coalition will be critical to rebuilding a city that has been decimated not only structurally, but racially.Prediction: Landrieu tops Nagin 53%-47%Results can be found www.blackpolicy.org/black-races.php