Factors That May Impact Voter Turnout on November 21


John Settle-Opinion-May 2015The general election on Saturday, November 21 will determine the outcome of many statewide races (the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General) and four Caddo races – District Attorney, Caddo Commissioner District 3 and 8 and State Senate District 38. Caddo voter turnout for the October 24 primary was a much lower than expected at 32%.

The $64,000 question for the November 21 election date is, as always, turnout. A low turnout can be blamed on many factors, including the following:


1. Hunting season will be open for deer and ducks.

2. For consummate shopper, that Saturday will be five (5) days before Thanksgiving and thirty-four (34) days before Christmas.

3. Football fans, as always, may be glued to the tube – games usually start by noon and go to midnight. As far as state teams, two have byes (Southern and Grambling) two have away games (LSU and LA Tech), and Northwestern has a home game.

raindrop4. The weather is always a factor; undoubtedly the incessant rain on the primary election date lowered the vote. Long range weather predictions for November 21 are long range guesses at this time.

5. Some political observer expect a “get out the vote” campaigns by both Democrats and Republicans. How much money will be spent in Caddo Parish is a unknown most “street money” is usually directed south of I-10. Interestingly enough voter turnout in the general election for gubernatorial runoffs has been higher than the primary 3 times since the early 1980s.

George Carlin saw Evil6. Voter dissatisfaction with either candidate choices and/or the negative ad campaigns are believed to have been a factor in October’s voter’s disinterest; how much that will be a factor this month is an open question. One thing is certain – the ballot will be much much shorter with much fewer choices for voters.

7. Candidate endorsements – or the lack of endorsements – can be critical. A good example is the endorsement of David Vitter by Bishop Larry Brandon of Praise Temple – which has caused a mild uproar in parts of the black community.

How all this shakes out is the $64,000 question. There are plenty of armchair quarterbacks making predictions on the turnout. Come Sunday November 22nd it will be over – thankfully.