‘A lot of the value in having a mayor who’s African-American is symbolic.’

Source: Negrophile.com[…] In the primary election a month ago, Nagin took home 38 percent of the vote – and 70 percent came from blacks. The 29 percent support for Mr. Landrieu came from a broader cross-section of people.

While both camps say they don't put any stock in polling data since so many residents are displaced and hard to reach, a Tulane University poll released Wednesday showed Landrieu's support at 48 percent of respondents while Nagin had the support of 38 percent. Another 14 percent said they were still undecided.

Because that 14 percent is greater than the margin between the two, says Brian Brox, one of the political scientists conducting the poll, "the focus for both candidates has to be on turnout."

Last month's primary showed the hardship of reaching new black voters when the overall percentage of blacks who voted was lower than a normal election, while whites voted at the same rate as previous elections. This was partly because the majority of those displaced by hurricane Katrina were blacks, and they had difficulty casting ballots in other places. […]

[…] Both candidates have also been trying to shore up their weaknesses. For Landrieu, that means reaching out to conservative white voters. With his large war chest, he has been working to draw votes from those who supported white businessmen Ron Forman and Robert Couhig in the primary. Mr. Forman, who came in third, endorsed Landrieu, and Mr. Couhig, who came in fourth, endorsed Nagin.

Still, white voters overwhelmingly supported white candidates in the primary, and Professor Brox sees no change in the runoff. His poll shows almost 70 percent of poll respondents supporting Landrieu. "I think there's a large portion of white conservative voters who will be holding their noses and voting for Landrieu," he says. […]

| That was from Kris Axtman's Christian Science Monitor article "New Orleans vote coming down to race" one day before the election.

[…] With all of the city's 442 precincts reporting, Mr. Nagin had 52 percent of the vote, while Mr. Landrieu received 48 percent.

Mr. Nagin, an African-American, won about 21 percent of the votes of whites, as well as over 80 percent of the black vote, according to a local elections analyst and political consultant, Greg Rigamer. Mr. Landrieu appeared to have lost black votes that he picked up in last month's primary, Mr. Rigamer said in an interview. […]   More>>>


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