Apparently Tom Cole and the folks at the NRCC think that their losing the seat by "only 3 points" was great news for them.
Again, black turnout was low, as I wrote about yesterday, and have now pretty much confirmed based on a comparison of Bob Odom (who only got 40% of the vote in East Baton Rouge on October 20, 2007 in his race for a statewide office, 5 points worse than even John Kerry did [and the county got blacker in the meantime due to Katrina], so I can assume that the vast majority of his voters were black (although I believe black turnout was pretty low that day as well)
Anyway, in the East Baton Rouge precincts where Bob Odom got 65% or more of the vote, turnout in yesterday's election was 54.4% of what it was on 10/20/2007. In the precincts where Odom got less than 35% of the vote, turnout in yesterday's election was 60.1% of what it was on 10/20/2007.
With Obama on the ballot, there will be very high black turnout this November. Guaranteed.
And again, let's take a look at the 6th district historically.
While the lines have changed some over the years, it's been based around Baton Rouge for at least the last 40 years based on maps I've seen of old districts in old Congressional Quarterly publications in the library.
Before yesterday, it had been held by Republicans since the 1974 election.
Let's take a look at the Southern delegations in 1974;
Alabama: 5 Democrats 3 Republicans [based in far whiter than today Mobile, Montgomery and Birmingham] (current is 5 Republicans, 2 Democrats)
Arkansas: 3 Democrats 1 Republican (in NW Arkansas); current is the same
Florida: 11 Democrats 4 Republicans (in Cape Canaveral, St. Petersburg, and 2 in the Miami suburbs); currently 16 Republicans 9 Democrats
Georgia: 9 Democrats 1 Republican (in far whiter than today Dekalb County); currently 7 Republicans 6 Democrats
Louisiana: 7 Democrats 1 Republican (Jefferson County); currently 4 Republicans 3 Democrats
Mississippi: 3 Democrats 2 Republicans (Thad Cochran in Jackson, Trent Lott on the coast); currently 2 Republicans 2 Democrats [hopefully 3 Democrats after the 13th of May]
North Carolina: 7 Democrats 4 Republicans (Piedmont/Winston Salem, Near Appalachia/Foothills, Charlotte, West Charlotte), currently 7 Democrats 6 Republicans
South Carolina: 4 Democrats 2 Republicans (Pee Dee, Columbia & suburbs); currently 4 Republicans 2 Democrats
Tennessee: 5 Republicans 3 Democrats (2 traditionally Republican East Tennessee districts, Chattanooga, Memphis/Nashville suburbs, Memphis) currently 5 Democrats 4 Republicans
Texas: 20 Democrats, 4 Republicans (North Dallas, Panhandle, Dallas, Houston), currently 19 Republicans 13 Democrats
Virginia: 7 Republicans 3 Democrats (Hampton Roads, Shenandoah, Richmond, Northwest VA, Arlington & suburbs, Alexandria & suburbs, SW VA); currently 8 Republicans 3 Democrats
So, at the time, there were 75 Democrats and 34 Republicans in former Confederate states, whereas today there are 76 Republicans and 55 Democrats in former Confederate states.
Let's also look at the political environment for the Republican party that year.
This was of course the year of fallout from Watergate, and Democrats gained 49 House seats, giving them 291, total. The Democratic party hasn't come close to such a large net gain since; even last year, we gained 31 seats (although the Republican gain in 1994 was slightly more)
This trend was clear in the South as well. While the Republicans picked up the seat in Louisiana's 6th and another (open seat) in Florida (5th district, Gainesville???), they lost many other Southern seats.
Specifically, Democrats won (back) 9 of the 34 Southern seats held by Republicans
GA-4: Elliott Levitas beat Ben Blackburn
NC-5: Stephen Neal beat Wilmer "Vinegar Bend" Mizell
NC-8: Bill Hefner beat Earl Ruth
SC-6: John Jenrette beat Edward Young
TN-3: Marilyn Lloyd beat Lamar Baker
TN-8: Harold Ford Sr. beat Dan Kuykendall
TX-13: Jack Hightower (not to be confused with Jim) beat Bob Price
VA-8: Herbert Harris beat Stanford Parris
VA-10: Joe Fisher beat Joel Broyhill
Moreover, they came very close to winning back
FL-12: Fueled by an influx of Jewish voters [I assume], Charles Friedman narrowly lost to incumbent J. Herbert Burke, 61,191-58,899 [51-49]
TX-5: Mike McCool narrowly lost to Alan Steelman, 28,446-26,190
VA-7: George Gilliam narrowly lost to Kenneth Robinson 54,267-48,611
VA-9: Charles Horne narrowly lost to William Creed Wampler, 68,183-65,783
In addition, if not for the fight and division caused by the Harry Byrd machine, Democrats would have likely won back VA-4 and VA-6, but strong independent (Democrat) candidacies prevented it.
So why did Henson Moore pick up the seat? Largely because of Jeff LaCaze. See, LaCaze had beaten incumbent John Rarick in the Democratic primary, and may have been considered too liberal by district voters.
John Rarick was a real Democrat In Name Only. He was actually a member of the John Birch Society, as well as a member of the white supremacist White Citizen's Council and a charter member of the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC, also known as KKK-lite).
He'd beaten Jimmy Morrison in the primary in 1966 (and at the time, the primary was the only real race in Louisiana); Morrison, while of course opposing the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (in the entire South, only Claude Pepper [South Florida liberal], Ross Bass & Richard Fulton (both middle Tennessee), Henry Gonzales (San Antonio), Jack Brooks (Beaumont), J.J. Pickle (Austin) and Albert Thomas (Houston) voted for it), was a flaming liberal by Southern Democrat standards.
Morrison regularly got good ratings (over 50% being good for a Southern Democrat, especially during the 89th Congress) from American for Democratic Action, and actually supported the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (along with a relatively few other Southern Democrats; James Trimble* and Oren Harris of Arkansas, Dante Fascell, Sam Gibbons and Claude Pepper of Florida, James MacKay* and Charles Weltner* of Georgia, Hale Boggs of Louisiana, Joe Evins, Richard Fulton, William Anderson and George Grider* of Tennesee, and the vast majority of the Texas delegation, the * indicates they lost their seat in the fall of 1966).
So in other words, there hasn't been a real Democrat in LA-6 since 1966.
And yet a 3 point win with low black turnout shows Democrats are in trouble?
Gotta love the NRCC.