Dr. David Sathiaraj

For many watchers of political races, it’s a numbers game. Dr. David Sathiaraj, Assistant Professor for Research in Geography and Anthropology at LSU, thinks there’s a better way to crack those numbers.

Frank Barnett

Just 5 days left till Saturday’s runoff election, and in the past week gubernatorial candidate David Vitter has become more visible, including speaking with two faith-based communities late last week.

Vitter spoke at Jefferson Baptist in Baton Rouge Thursday evening – a solo appearance -- put on in part by the Louisiana Family Forum. There the Republican addressed religious freedom.

Early voting for the November 21st runoff continues through Saturday, and Secretary of State Tom Schedler is not yet ready to predict whether voter turnout will exceed last month’s primary.

“You know, this science is not becoming any easier,” Schedler says, with a chuckle.

Turnout for the October 24th primary election was anything but amusing, at a dismal 38.5 percent.

“History would tell you, and data would tell you that we would be below 38-and-a-half percent,” Schedler says. “I think this time we’ll at least match that or maybe increase it, so goes along with everything else in politics today: it’s kind of going against the mainstream of what you would expect.”


The Baton Rouge City Court will have a new judge-at-large next year. The legislature created the seat over the summer in response to allegations that the court did not accurately reflect the racial makeup of the city. Previously there were three majority white districts and two majority black in a city that is more than 50 percent black. Tarvald Smith, a former public defender in Baker and a former member of the East Baton Rouge School Board won the seat.

Sue Lincoln

When the new state administration takes over in January, they will face the same old structural budget deficits. A report just issued by the Committee of 100 -- in consultation with the Public Affairs Research Council, the Council for a Better Louisiana, and the Louisiana Budget Project -- is proposing some fixes for the problem.

“Our plan is really focused on the long-term view; to address creating a more stable and predictable fiscal structure for the state of Louisiana,” says Tom Clark, chairman of C100.