What Parishes Did Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio Do Best In?

The Louisiana primary is history and now is the time for analysis. When looking at the results parish by parish, certain patterns become clear. Ted Cruz was strong in the parishes bordering Texas and in north and central Louisiana. Donald Trump was strong in south Louisiana and especially strong in metro New Orleans. Meanwhile, Marco Rubio underperformed in the major Republican strongholds in the state.

Here are the best 5 parishes for each of the three candidates, along with the vote percentage in each:

Donald Trump:
St. Bernard Parish: 66%
Madison Parish: 58%
Avoyelles Parish: 57%
Plaquemines Parish: 54%
St. Mary Parish: 53%

The geographical spread is very interesting. Avoyelles and St. Mary are in Acadiana. Madison Parish is in the northeast Louisiana. St. Bernard and Plaquemines are New Orleans suburbs.

Trump generally did well statewide. The only weaknesses were in north, central Louisiana, and metro Baton Rouge, but he was able to hold down the margins much more than Cruz was able to south of the Red River. Not only was banking the early vote key to Trump’s victory, leveraging the higher population of south Louisiana was also key.

For example, Trump won Jefferson Parish by 5,000 votes and he actually padded his lead on election day. The vote margin in Jefferson Parish is almost as much as the vote margin Ted Cruz had out of East Baton Rouge, Calcasieu, and Caddo Parishes combined. Add the 2,240 vote margin Trump won St. Tammany Parish with and that pretty much wipes out Cruz’s wins from the larger parishes. Trump also won Lafayette Parish, Orleans Parish, and won a bunch of smaller parishes with more than 48%. Cruz simply had too high of a hill to climb.

Ted Cruz:
Allen Parish: 50%
Jackson Parish: 48%
Red River Parish: 49%
Bienville Parish: 47%
Beauregard Parish: 46%
De Soto Parish: 46%
Webster Parish: 46%

Cruz’s strongholds were north and central Louisiana, which are the more Protestant and more socially conservative areas of the state. Cruz also did well in metro Baton Rouge, which is another social conservative strong hold. But another Cruz problem was that Trump also made inroads to religious conservatives such as Woody Jenkins. That resulted in Trump and Cruz splitting that vote which has been the reason why candidates such as Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum have done very well in Louisiana.

Marco Rubio:
Orleans Parish: 21%
East Baton Rouge Parish: 14%
Jefferson Parish: 13%
Jefferson Davis Parish: 13%
Lafourche Parish: 13%
Lincoln Parish: 13%
Tensas Parish: 13%
West Feliciana Parish: 13%

These numbers generally speak for themselves. Rubio did poorly all across the state and even in places where he had to do well to get the 20% threshold. Rubio for example should’ve gotten at least 30% from Orleans Parish and much better than what he did in Jefferson Parish. Much of that was due to John Kasich doing better than expected and some of it was probably anti-Trump tactical voting to benefit Ted Cruz, but I”m not that sure many people who aren’t political junkies actually do it. Also, many Rubio supporters have Cruz as a second choice and after Rubio’s universally panned debate performance last week, some of his eroding support may have just shifted to Cruz.

Donald Trump won Louisiana by successfully exploiting Louisiana’s cultural divides and pulling just enough of every Republican demographic to win. A parish by parish analysis only confirms this.

 

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