"The Future Is Cao"

Less than 24 hours after his upset defeat of a longtime Democratic congressman from New Orleans, Anh "Joseph" Cao found the weight of the entire Republican Party resting on his diminutive shoulders.

The chairman of the Republican National Committee said Cao's election Saturday night showed that, even battered and bruised from political drubbings in the past two years, Republicans "still know how to win elections." House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) was more blunt, issuing a memo Sunday declaring: "The future is Cao."

Well it might have helped that Anh "Joseph" Cao ran against a political corpse, indicted Congressman William J. Jefferson down in the Louisiana 04. It's not much different than up in Alaska where Mark Begich bested convicted felon Senator Ted Stevens. Still for the GOP, Anh Joseph Cao, the first Vietnamese-American elected to the US Congress, is a bright hope even if the GOP establishment didn't offer him much support for his historic run.

Yet just three weeks ago, no one in the GOP establishment had even heard of Cao. They didn't know his improbable story of triumph -- how he fled war-torn Vietnam after the fall of Saigon as an 8-year-old refugee jammed into a helicopter. Now they've seized on his rags-to-political riches story, along with the victory last week of Sen. Saxby Chambliss in a special election in Georgia, as rare pieces of good news after the dismal November elections.

Vietnamese-Americans have long supported the GOP for reasons not unlike those of the Cuban-American community, a hatred of a communist system that they feel stole their country from them. Every April, here in San Francisco, Vietnamese-Americans will gather to commemorate the fall of Saigon. Every year, that crowd gets thinner and decidedly older.

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LA-04: Carmouche Won't Concede, Expects A Recount

The preliminary count of yesterday's vote in Louisiana's 4th district resulted in Republican John Fleming receiving 356 more votes than Democrat Paul Carmouche but to his credit Carmouche won't concede.

"For me to concede at this point would be foolish. We've spent a lot of money, a lot of effort, a lot of time in this race, and there are provisional ballots that we don't believe have been counted yet because they don't usually count those (immediately after a race). Democrats usually win those by large margins so the fat lady hasn't sung yet in this thing," he said.

Jacques Berry, a spokesman for the Secretary of State's Office, said the complete but unofficial returns do not include provisional ballots - paper ballots filled out by people who arrived at their precincts, intending to vote, but whose names did not appear on the official registry. Those votes and absentee paper ballots would be included on Tuesday, when all vote totals are added together again and certified.

In addition, Carmouche said he expects to request a recount once all ballots have been counted.

Louisiana law has no provision for an automatic recount, Berry said, though a losing candidate can request one. [...]

...after all 640 precincts were counted, Carmouche said he planned to ask for a recount of the ballots.

You didn't want this to be over yet anyway, did you?

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LA-04 Results Thread

Here are the results of out the district the National Republican Congressional District just dumped $900,000 on -- despite the fact John McCain carried the district by 19 points on November 4:

John Fleming (R): 44,497 votes (48.07 percent)
Paul Carmouche (D): 44,141 votes (47.69 percent)

With 640 of 640 precincts (100.00 percent) reporting at 11:11 PM Eastern

Stay tuned...

Update [2008-12-6 22:46:12 by Jonathan Singer]: Seems to be tightening a tad with one in ten votes still to be counted. Nevertheless, Carmouche does continue to lead in this district, which isn't a bad sign...

Update [2008-12-6 23:13:8 by Jonathan Singer]: I haven't seen it called (at least the AP doesn't seem to have called it yet), but it isn't looking great.

Update [2008-12-6 23:17:31 by Jonathan Singer]: The AP has called the race in Louisiana's second district, with indicted incumbent Democrat "Dollar" Bill Jefferson losing. This is a very Democratic district that would probably come back to the fold in 2010 -- similar to what happened in Illinois in 1996, when the Democrats retook the seat lost by the then-indicted incumbent Dan Roskenkowski two years earlier.

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LA-04: Election Day

Today is the final election day of the 2008 election cycle. Sigh...

In LA-04, the Northwestern most Louisiana district, Democrat Paul Carmouche is going up against John Fleming to replace Republican Jim McCrery in the House.

As Brownsox noted yesterday, the polls have really been all over the place, so this is considered a true toss-up, which is actually fairly remarkable since McCain won the district by 19 points.

And as DailyKingfish reminds us, as with all non-election day elections, this is all about turnout.

This race is going to hinge on the turnout. The DCCC has been active ... sending folks to the district, and utilizing their volunteer base to remind folks to vote. President-elect Obama has been less involved, cutting a radio ad to remind folks to vote, but his campaign team did send out two or three emails for funds and volunteers.

The Republicans have been active, sending Vice-President Cheney to raise money, and I'm sure they've got folks on the ground as well.

Turnout, according to various sources, has been "leisurely."

You can help LA-04 voters turnout for Carmouche using the DCCC's virtual phonebank, which will be in full effect today.

Use this as an LA-04 election day thread. Any news? Are you there on the ground? Throw it in the comments.

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LA-04: Help Send One More Democrat To Congress

What, you thought the 2008 election cycle was over?

This Saturday, Louisiana will go to the polls to vote in two congressional races that were delayed by Hurricane Gustav: LA-02, where William Jefferson (D-Cold Hard Cash) is the incumbent and LA-04 where Republican Rep. Jim McCrery is retiring. Only the latter is considered competitive. The Pollster trend estimate has Democrat Paul Carmouche up over Republican John Fleming by less than 3% (although that may have been seriously skewed by a rogue internal poll that showed Carmouche up 11 points.)

Although this race has a far lower profile than the GA-Sen run-off, it has still attracted the big guns:

Cameos by President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President Dick Cheney have brought star power to a hurricane-delayed battle between Democrats and Republicans for an up-for-grabs U.S. House seat.

Obama recorded a radio ad to help Democrat Paul Carmouche, while Cheney helped with fundraising and GOP up-and-comer Gov. Bobby Jindal helped with a television ad for Republican candidate John Fleming.

I'm surprised Sarah Palin hasn't made an appearance, Lord knows she delivered Georgia to Saxby!

Two days out from election day, once again we have an opportunity to paint a little swath of blue in one of the reddest of red states and it would certainly be a bit of consolation for having lost Cazayoux's seat on Nov. 4th. So what can we do?

The DCCC is asking for our help.

The last race of the year -- the hurricane-delayed election in Louisiana's 4th District -- is this Saturday.  The AP calls the race "up-for-grabs" and says it'll be about who can get more of their voters to the polls.

That's where you come in.

Help us win this last race of the year: remind supporters to vote through our virtual phonebank.

It's simple: we'll give you a short list of voters to call and some points to mention as you remind voters about the upcoming election.  These calls will make a huge difference in this neck-and-neck race.

You can access the virtual phone bank tool HERE.

Republicans are already spinning Chambliss's win on Tuesday as evidence that Obama has no mandate. Right. Let's nip that narrative in the bud by delivering President-elect Obama one more seat to his majority in the House.

Help send Paul Carmouche to Congress today.

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