Amazingly, from what I understand, this specific story doesn't poll very well in terms of impacting choice/changing minds. In fact, it scored lower than Jefferson's vote for the bankruptcy bill.
That amazes me.
I think the machine piece might be a bit over-stated ... although admittedly I just arrived in LA a few days ago. My understanding is that most NOLA Democrats belong to various organizations (machines?) that are almost like "clans" within the party. Here's how I described it in an earlier post:
We also talked a bit about the political organizations that exist within the second district. Within the Democratic Party itself, there are multiple "clans" that all have political and GOTV implications of their own. Carter is a member of BOLD -- Jefferson a member of the "Progressive Democrats." Don't let the nomenclature fool you, there isn't much progressive about Jefferson's organization.
Her mother grew up in a trailer, her father was the first African-American Assessor in the city. I am not sure of any political lineage beyond that. I wouldn't argue that she isn't "connected," but to ascribe to her the title "machine candidate" in the way we think of New Jersey, or Chicago, or Philly I am not sure is accurate. I'll try to find out more about that in the coming days and report back honestly.
It just might be ... I don't know exactly why there is such a racial divide in this election, but another underlying meme is that Carter is "the white candidate." Nola.com has the primary vote breakdown by race. There's no question a divide exists, but it hasn't bubbled up onto the surface like I hear it did during the mayoral race.
It is still unresolved. He is basically saying, "hey look, they've been investigating and investigating me, but still no charges..." There is a lot of loyalty to Jefferson in the African-American community, and the matter doesn't seem to impact his standing too much there. Among the white community, Carter does a lot better. I'll have more on this topic as I learn more. Until then, TPM has a good run-down.