Schedler: Voter Turnout Will Be Around 50 Percent Next Week

So our Secretary of State said at the Baton Rouge Press Club yesterday.

Schedler predicts voter turnout will be around 45 to 50 percent, which would be higher than a normal congressional midterm election, but not as high as a presidential election.

In 2012, when President Barack Obama was on the ticket, voter turnout was 69 percent. In 2010, when U.S. Sen. David Vitter was running for reelection, it was 44 percent.  In 2008, when U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu and Obama were both on the ticket, it was 67 percent.

He also said that thanks to the 14 constitutional amendments on the ballot, the lines are likely to be extremely long.

“The size of this ballot is ridiculous,” said Schedler.

If Schedler is correct, it’s not good news for Mary Landrieu. The chronic voters in Louisiana, as in other states, tend strongly Republican. And with a 44 percent turnout in 2010 Vitter scalded Charlie Melancon by a 57-38 margin. Landrieu’s 2008 margin over John Kennedy in the 2008 Senate race was 52-46.

Plot those results on a line graph, and, you’re probably going to need to get above 60 percent turnout for Landrieu to win.

That said, the Times-Picayune had another article today talking about turnout and how the Democrat GOTV effort is off the charts…

New Orleanians have been voting early in droves, according to the Orleans Parish registrar of voters.

About 17,430 city residents have cast ballots during early voting, which ends today, said Sandra Wilson, registrar of voters. That’s nearly twice as many early voters as the last midterm election in November 2010, when 9,031 voted early in person, according to the Louisiana Secretary of State’s figures.

The primary election in October of that year, which included statewide races and constitutional amendments, saw even fewer early voters at 3,278.

The big early voting turnout this year 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.

But from a friend who early-voted in Baton Rouge today…

Stopped in just now to early vote at the state archives. Huge line…and they aren’t majority Dems, either.

So who knows? Maybe Schedler is wrong and turnout is more akin to a presidential election than a midterm. And maybe that doesn’t even help Landrieu because the Louisiana GOP’s turnout machine is good enough to match hers.

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