Before an angry mob storms my doorstep, let me modify that: Louisiana at least needs more people to express liberal leanings to pollsters.
Stay with me here: both presidential candidates, and their parties, spent millions and millions of dollars on advertising, on rallies and on campaign appearances.
But virtually none of that in Louisiana.
Polls had pegged Louisiana for John McCain almost from the outset, and that never really wavered.
The electoral system gives a set number of votes, based on population, to each state in a “winner takes all” format.
Only large “swing states”, where polls indicated a close race, saw active campaigning and the economic boost that accompanies it.
Since Louisiana was never “in play” this election, we lost out on millions of dollars from both candidates.
The last time Louisiana “swung” was back in the 1990’s, when the former governor of neighboring Arkansas carried Louisiana by a small margin in 1992 and a somewhat larger margin in 1996.
This election year, however, both parties took it for granted that McCain would carry Louisiana, and so they chose to spend their money elsewhere.
But if more people in Louisiana had told pollsters they were likely to vote for Barack Obama, both candidates might have come here to make their case, or at least sent their surrogates.
Millions of dollars would have been spent here on television, radio, and yes, newspaper advertisements, providing a boost to the state economy.
Huge campaign rallies would attract eager followers of both candidates coming in from out-of-state, people who would spend their money eating at our restaurants, sleeping in our hotels and taking in the sights here.
The big “swing states” like Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio obviously knew how to play this game.
I mean, did anyone really believe Pennsylvania would go to McCain? But look how much money he spent trying to woo Pennsylvanians.
Louisiana may only have nine electoral votes, but in a tight race, even those nine would look mighty tempting to a Democrat hoping on a Deep South win, and might be important enough for a Republican candidate to defend in person.
As things stand now, Louisiana’s always going to be taken for granted, treated like the girlfriend a guy knows will never leave him and so he never buys her presents or takes her out to dinner.
If we can convince pollsters that Louisiana is up for grabs next election, we too can experience some of the campaign cash influx that swing states are currently swimming in.
It’s up to you, though. Every time pollsters call my house, one of their first questions is, “Do you or anyone in your household work for a newspaper, radio or television company?”
As soon as I tell them yes, I write for a newspaper, the pollsters can’t get off the phone fast enough.
Maybe this is why.