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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

The Landrieu Landslide

Much of the nation is looking happily at New Orleans today in celebration of the Saints’ Super Bowl victory, in no small part as a vindication of that battered city’s spirit in the long wake of Hurricane Katrina. But New Orleans experienced another amazing event over the weekend: the landslide victory of Louisiana Lt. Governor Mitch Landrieu in his third bid to become mayor of the Crescent City.
After months of speculation about who, exactly, would face Landrieu in a pre-ordained runoff (Louisiana’s “jungle primary” system requires a rare majority vote in a “first primary” of candidates from all parties to avoid a runoff), Mitch, the son of former mayor Moon Landrieu and the brother of Sen. Mary Landrieu, won with two-thirds of the vote (against five serious challengers) and nearly that high a percentage of the African-American vote in this majority African-American city. That’s remarkable, given the 2006 mayoral election in which Ray Nagin beat Landrieu in a race-saturated campaign.
Landrieu’s huge victory margin and cross-racial voting appeal represent a unity sign for New Orleans that can’t match the universal adulation of the Saints, but is nonetheless pretty impressive. He will need the good will in one of the country’s toughest jobs.

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