In the 2020 presidential election Joe Biden, Jon Ossoff, and Raphael Warnock became the first Democrats to win Georgia.

However, Louisiana, a state with about the same percentage of black population, remained fairly steady, with Trump winning by almost exactly the same number of votes as 2016.

Given the states similar significantly above average black populations, why is Louisiana not contested like Georgia?

I know others asked things like this but Georgia broke the trend of more heavily black Southern states voting for the Republicans despite Republicans having little black support.

I am asking about Louisiana vs Georgia and not say Tennessee vs Florida.

  • 1
    You could say the same about Mississippi but Louisiana is less rural. May 29, 2021 at 16:40
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    Ossoff and Warnock barely won and during an election in which Republicans had very low faith in the system, and many Georgian Republicans were in DC and away from the polls. I don't think we can be sure of the premise, that Georgia is a swing state in the Senate. If 2026 is also close without extenuating circumstances, then we'll know.
    – Ryan_L
    May 29, 2021 at 16:49
  • We are calling it a battleground state, not a blue state. May 29, 2021 at 16:55
  • I am aware. I'm not positive it IS a battleground state because of the aforementioned extenuating circumstances. Maybe it is, heck maybe it's completely swung. I just don't think we can know yet. We'll know by 2026.
    – Ryan_L
    May 29, 2021 at 16:58
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    @Ryan_L they do to a certain extent. Warnock is up for election in 2022, and Ossoff is in 2026. May 29, 2021 at 18:39

1 Answer 1


Louisiana has a significant African American population, but it is still majority white with white people making up 65% of the population, and 70% of voters. And this population is quite solidly Republican: Nearly 80% of white voters vote Republican. Even if every non-white voter were to vote Democrat that already gives the Republicans a 56:44 lead. Of course, there are some black republicans (about 10% of African American voters) This boosts the Republican vote to about 60:40, which is roughly what the vote was in 2020.

The result of the racially polarised voting in the southern USA is that Louisiana is a safe Republican state.

The difference with Georgia is that white voters shifted from about 80:20 to 70:30, while black voters remainder solidly democratic (even more so than in Louisiana). You can see that a swing of 10 percentage points can turn a 60:40 race to 50:50. The reason for this shift is complicated, but an aspect is the democratic success with suburban voters in Georgia that was not replicated in Louisiana. Another reason is the drive, particularly by the Abrams campaign to increase turnout in urban (and predominantly black) neighbourhoods.

  • At the time of the 2020 election there was a lot of talk about the effect of Stacey Abrams' anti-disenfranchisement drives. Does that have any relevance to differences between thses states?
    – Jontia
    May 29, 2021 at 18:34
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    @Jonita probably some. You'll notice that in LA whites are a higher portion of the electorate than they are the population. But the change in voting habits is larger than any one reason, and if we try to list all of them we'll be here all day. May 29, 2021 at 18:47
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    This is really interesting, given that the narrative I had internalised was that Georgia’s swing in 2020 was largely due to Stacey Abrams driving up black turnout… your analysis makes that sound like a very minor point versus a swing in white suburban votes.
    – eggyal
    May 30, 2021 at 2:20
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    @eggyal I think the disenfrancisement dirve is worth mentioning too in the answer'
    – James K
    May 30, 2021 at 7:56

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