Charlie Cook has had this race as “Lean Republican” for quite a while, but once again he is being led astray by his own wishful thinking. I had always been confident that Vitter would win comfortably, but lately I’ve become convinced that Melancon could save himself and his party a lot of time and money by simply dropping out of the race, because these Rasmussen numbers aren’t far from what I think the final result is likely to be.
Nobody here likes Charlie Boy. His pandering to the rapidly shrinking base of white Democrats in the state with his claim that he is a “pro-life, pro-gun Southern Democrat” isn’t playing in his own 3rd District, let alone in the rest of the state. National Democrats are pinning their hopes on identity politics, hoping that the old Louisiana political maxim that “Cajuns elect Cajuns” will translate into a base of support in Acadiana and the broader southwestern La. region, that combined with the black vote in the cities might be enough to squeak out a Melancon win.
What they, and Cook, do not understand is that Cajuns could be counted on to elect Cajuns back when there were such things as conservative Democrats. There are no longer, and the growing realization of this in the state is translating into a Republican wave that is transforming the partisan face of Louisiana politics. Charlie Melancon can talk a conservative game all he likes; what the conservative voters of Louisiana have come to understand is that his House vote helped make Speaker Nancy Pelosi possible and that it is subject in all matters to the mercies of the Botox Queen of ‘Frisco. When every single Senate Democrat, including our celebrated “moderate” Mary Landrieu, voted each time for cloture and final passage of ObamaCare, one can be forgiven for wondering why a Senator Charlie Melancon would have voted any differently. Being personally “pro-gun” and “pro-life” is rather academic in the face of a bill that guarantees taxpayer-funded abortions and lays the groundwork for firearms to be regulated as health hazards.
But I’ll give Charlie a little credit and assume that he knows all of this. Perhaps, when he announced, he hadn’t guessed just how badly the 2010 election cycle would begin to shape up for his party, but he’d probably already guessed he was going to have a tough time winning voters in a state that bucked the Obama tide to the tune of almost 20 points, Cajun-vote strategy or no. The bottom line is that Charlie Melancon got into this race mainly because he would have had an even tougher time winning election to his own congressional seat, which would be a likely target for elimination after redistricting even if his constituents didn’t already regard him as a disingenuous hump.
Regarding his opponent, Charlie Melancon’s strategy, and only hope, was to focus on the three-year-old story of David Vitter’s moral peccadillos. That plan probably sounded a lot better before Louisiana’s Democrat senior Senator announced to the state and the entire country that she is a prostitute; a 300-million-dollar-an-hour prostitute who will gladly accept payment for her voting services from the public treasury. Disappointed in Vitter’s moral failings we were; disappointed in his determination to stand as a bulwark against the entire Obama agenda, we most definitely are not. David Vitter’s legislative record reflects the values and wishes of the great majority of Louisianians, we recognize this and understand that there can be no sane rationale for jettisoning him and sending another Democrat to the Senate in the Age of Obama and Landrieu. It won’t surprise me if Vitter breaks 60% on Election Day.
So sorry, Charlie. I don’t think things are going to start looking much better for you over the next 9.5 months.