Scoot: Are you Republican, Democrat, Independent, Libertarian?

July 11, 2017 - 10:57 am

It’s not surprising that the number of registered Democrats in the state of Louisiana has decreased over the past 16 years.  A new analysis from JMC Analytics shows that there has been a significant decrease in the number of registered white Democrats while the number of registered white Republicans has risen.

In 2001, when President George W. Bush took office, white Democrats made up 35% of the registered voters, but today that number has fallen to 18%.  Over the same period, the number of Republicans increased from 22% to 30% and Independents increased 8%.

From 2001 to today, black voters in the state rose from 29% to 31%, but Hispanic and Asian voters, combined, increased 66%.

Today, Democrats account for 44% of the voters in the state of Louisiana, while Republicans account for 30% and Independents 26%.

But how many registered Republicans and Democrats are true Republicans or Democrats?  There are Democrats that oppose new gun control legislation and Republican that support same-sex marriage.  Does support for gun rights define a voter as a Repubican?  Does support of same-sex marriage render a voter a Democrat?  

The world of political issues is complicated and seemingly not as clear cut as it was in the past.  Hypocrisy reins supreme with both Democrats and Republicans.  Perhaps the Independents are more respected for having views that seem to conflict with the strict Republican and Democratic Party ideology.

Many people find security in belonging to a group that helps define who they are.  Many how identify themselves as Republicans or Democrats do not agree with the strict definition of what it means to be Republican or Democrat, but they gain a stronger sense of identity by adhering allegiance to one party or the other.

The majority of voters in the state of Louisiana, as well as the majority of voters across America, are not truly Republican or Democrat.  And these are the voters that decide the outcome of elections. 

Look at the breakdown of registered voters in Louisiana – 44% are Democrats, 30% are Republicans and 26% are Independents.  Based on the breakdown of voters, in a two-candidate race, a Republican or a Democrat would need the support of Independents to win an election.

During the campaign, Donald Trump’s appeal stretched beyond the base of the Republican Party.  Now as president, Trump appears to be pandering more to his base, which will not be strong enough for reelection in 2020.

On my radio show, I have always emphasized the importance of a candidate projecting an image more moderate than the core of either party.  George W. Bush brilliantly used the slogan, “Compassionate Conservative” to win.  Barack Obama presented a more moderate, or populist, position during his two campaigns.  Once in office, candidates tend to feed their base voters.  That changes toward reelection time.
There are those who will vote for the Republican or the Democrat no matter what circumstances surround a campaign, but it is the moderates and the Independents that determine an election’s outcome.

In a world where Americans are so quick to label each other -conservative, liberal or whatever - we should all be honest about the reality that most are not as politically pure as the image of either party.  

And that’s the reason we should not be so quick to label or judge each other.

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