Baton Rouge, LA. With state political parties in Louisiana deciding to move up their presidential primaries to earlier in the year as many others have also done, today's primary is gaining national attention. Louisiana's primaries have historically fallen after the nominations have already been settled or they have been overlooked as an insignificant part of the Super Tuesday primaries. Since neither the Democratic nominees nor the Republican nominees garnered the necessary number of delegates to achieve the nomination at this point, Louisiana's delegates to the national convention are coveted this time around.
"The significance of the upcoming elections cannot be understated," says Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA), a Member of the Senate India Caucus and a member of the Senate Appropriations, Energy, Homeland Security, and Small Business Committees. "With a fragile economy, an ongoing effort to protect our citizens from terrorism and a region still recovering from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the flooding that followed, the voices and votes of every American will influence the path of our nation."
For the first time in at least a decade, Louisianians have an opportunity today to actually have an effect on the party nominations, especially among the Democrats. Given the close race for the Democratic nomination, Louisiana's primary will be more important to Democrats. Most of the state's 67 Democratic delegates are awarded by congressional district based on the proportion of the votes cast for each candidate. Capturing Louisiana's Republican delegates for the national convention is more difficult. The party sends to the convention 24 delegates who are automatically uncommitted. To earn the remaining 23 of the 47 delegates, a candidate would have to get more than 50 percent of the vote. If none of the candidates pass the 50 percent mark, those 23 delegates remain uncommitted.
In spite of the national attention, however, no one is expecting a particularly high voter turnout in Louisiana. Indian-Americans all over the country are extremely interested though given the recent election of Indian-American Governor Bobby Jindal. Congressman Charles W. Boustany, Jr. (R-LA-7), a Member of the House Agriculture, Education, and Transportation Committees, makes a plea for strong turnout, "Voting is a fundamental right of every American, and I urge members of the Indian-American community in Louisiana to continue their worthwhile involvement in the political process. Voting is the first and most important way to get involved."
USINPAC is the political voice of 2.5 million Indian-Americans. USINPAC provides bipartisan support to candidates for federal, state and local office who support the issues that are important to the Indian-American community. For more information, go to www.usinpac.com.