About 17,430 city residents have cast ballots during early voting, which ends today, said Sandra Wilson, registrar of voters. That's more than four times as many early voters as the last midterm election in 2010, when 3,278 cast early ballots, she said.If we include yesterday's count, the total is now 18,066 in Orleans. That's an impressive 60% of the early vote turnout during the 2012 Presidential election. It's still probably not going to be enough for Mary. Although, this surprise late entrant might muddle things up on the Republican side.
The big early voting turnout may be a good sign for Democratic incumbent Mary Landrieu as she fights to keep her Senate seat. African-Americans, who vote overwhelmingly Democrat, have much higher early voting rates than whites, and maximizing voter turnout in New Orleans is seen by many as key to Landrieu's electoral hopes.
Wilson speculated that the sharp rise is due in part to the intense interest in the senatorial race between Landrieu and David Cassidy, the Republican front runner.Last night Mary Landrieu debated Rob Maness and one additional empty space where Bill Cassidy might have been. It was uneventfully on-script.
Mary made a point of name dropping every Republican she is friends with and telling us how magically delicious petroleum is. (Consider putting some on your scrambled eggs or in a soup, she said. We already know how much you love it on seafood.)
Maness talked about how "the free market" will help us "find solutions" on "the table." The Colonel also said "war is a racket," while simultaneously talking up his military record. Apparently he did secret things in "countries I cannot name." So he was a covert racketeer, we suppose. Next he said that "politics is a racket" so now it makes sense why he is even running. Rob Maness is an interesting fellow.
Anyway, Hillary Clinton is stumping for Mary this weekend, in case that is the kind of thing that gets you excited. Go out and vote today if you plan to vote early.