Political analyst: Voter enthusiasm by whites outpaces that of blacks

In Louisiana, 363,000 people voted early
Published: Nov. 2, 2022 at 11:46 PM CDT
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(WVUE) - Hundreds of thousands of people in Louisiana voted early for the mid-term election. Still, a political analyst says voters’ enthusiasm is not equal when it comes to white and black voters around the country.

Sandra Wilson, Ph.D., is the registrar of voters in New Orleans.

“The voters, they were coming in and they were in good moods and good spirits,” said Wilson.

And according to the secretary of state’s office, 363,000 Louisianans voted in advance of election day which is Nov. 8.

On the ballot are races for Congress, constitutional amendments, local political contests, and referenda.

And of the statewide early vote number, 258,000 were white voters, 93,000 were black, and 11,000 were listed as other.

Wilson says over 20,000 people took advantage of early voting in New Orleans. “Very well, we had approximately 22,000 voters that did early voting, that doesn’t include the 6,000 absentee voters with mail ballots,” she said.

Data from the Orleans Parish Registrar’s Office gives perspective, in terms of the number of voters on the rolls for mid-term elections.

It says for the mid-term election in November 2014 there were 250,304 registered voters in New Orleans; in November 2018, the number was 260, 715 and for this November’s election it is 268,272.

Wilson says there was an uptick in voter registration this year. “We actually have seen an influx in voters registering and I think primarily due to the fact that people are moving into the city and so over I would say the past year we’ve had more people registering to vote, so yeah, not abundantly more but, yes,” she said.

Dillard University political analyst Robert Collins, Ph.D. says enthusiasm among black voters is down compared to whites.

“I wrote a column for Verite News, in which I argued that black turnout would likely determine control of the U.S. Senate because what we’ve seen over the last couple of months is, in polling both in Louisiana as well as in all of the Senate swing states is that black enthusiasm has been running somewhere between 10 to 15 points behind white enthusiasm as far as when we ask people what is the probability that you will actually vote?” said Collins.

Like Louisiana, early voting has ended in many states. And that gives pundits more insight into who voted.

“And now since we’re a few days from election day we’ve actually looked at turnout in the swing states comparing black turnout to white turnout and the numbers roughly track the poll enthusiasm results,” Collins stated.

He said one political party, in particular, is trying to change those dynamics.

“Of course, the Democratic Party now realizes that they have Obama in the swing states trying to, you know, trying to increase black turnout but the question is whether or not it’s too little, too late?” said Collins.

He said a high African American turnout is critical to some candidates.

“The Democratic candidates cannot win without a high black turnout, without black turnout that is close to, or equal to white turnout right now,” Collins stated.

And the big question is how many voters will show up at the polls on Tuesday.

“That’s going to be the challenge predicting turnout on election day,” said Collins.

Still, he thinks a larger number of voters will show up in swing states.

“I think white turnout both for Democrats and Republicans is pretty much maxed out and I think will be close to equal,” said Collins. “I think the mystery really is whether or not the Democratic Party can figure out how to increase voter turnout, black voter turnout in these last few days before election day.”

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