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Treasurer’s Race: Could Low Turnout Alter The Expected Outcome?

Edwards campaign/Schroder campaign

Early voting for the Nov. 18State Treasurer runoff continues through Friday, with Secretary of State Tom Schedler saying he expects overall turnout to be “horrible.”

“I am anticipating 11, 12 percent turnout for this election,” Schedler says.

“The voters are already saying on some level they don’t care,” observes U-L Monroe political science professor Joshua Stockley.

He says that attitude also reflects the conventional wisdom on the outcome of this race, which states, “The election is already over. We are in a highly conservative, very strong Republican state and there’s no to little reason to believe that John Schroder is going to lose this election.”

The political parties clearly ascribe to that line of thinking, as well. Even though the LA GOP has given John Schroder its nod, and the state Democratic Party has finally endorsed Derrick Edwards, there are no party-paid campaign ads popping up.

“Why would the Democratic Party spend any money on advertising on a race they’ve written off as lost?” Stockley asks, rhetorically. “Why would the Republican Party want to spend money on a race they’ve written off as they’ve won?”

Conventional political wisdom also says it’s Republicans who are chronic voters, and yet…

“Is it possible that enough Republicans simply will not show up to vote because they do not care about this election and think the election has already been decided? Absolutely,” Stockley observes.

“With the mayoral election in New Orleans — given that there will be a substantial number of Democrats and African-Americans voting — that could propel, in a low turnout election, Derrick Edwards to an upset,” Stockley states.

“I don’t think it’s likely, but it could happen if enough Democrats show up and enough Republicans stay home.”