La. presidential efforts focus on other states

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wwltv.com

Posted on October 16, 2012 at 6:21 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 16 at 6:22 PM

Katie Moore / Eyewitness News
Email: kmoore@wwltv.com | Twitter: @katiecmoore

NEW ORLEANS -- The race for the presidency will take center stage again Tuesday night with President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney squaring off in their second debate.

Experts said Louisianians would be watching, even though both campaigns have their efforts focused on other states.

Obama and Romney put the brakes on their campaign stops for the past few days, prepping for the second prime-time debate. In the home stretch, both campaigns used vintage tactics.

“We've knocked on millions and millions of doors. Really more doors than the last two presidential elections combined. Whether it's in Ohio or Wisconsin or Florida or Virginia, but not in Louisiana,” said Roger Villere, Jr., executive director of the Louisiana Republican Party.

Here, the election is more defined by what you won't see than what you will. In Louisiana, you won't see all that many yard signs and you won't see a barrage of political ads on television.

“There's no point in either campaign putting scarce resources into Louisiana. Barack Obama lost by 19 percentage points four years ago,” said Tulane University Political Science Professor Thomas Langston.

In fact, Louisiana's presidential political machines were largely focused on other states.

“We're using a lot of our volunteers to help call into other states, to actually spend their time and effort in states that are actually in play,” Villere said.

“We have signed up a few individuals who will be traveling to Ohio who will be helping in the get out the vote efforts. Mind you we're also doing those efforts down here especially where we have Congressional races that we're excited about,” said Stephen Handwerk, executive director of the Louisiana Democratic Party.

Republican leaders said some of their volunteers will travel to Florida the weekend before the election.

“It's always difficult for Tulane students and students from around Louisiana. They get enthusiastic. They listen to the campaigns that say we need your help. We need your support. And then there's nothing really for them to do here,” Langston said.

Despite that, Langston and the state parties said there will still be plenty of interest in Louisiana when the candidates square off.

 

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