Cajun musical chairs

Results in Louisiana for the run-offs for the US House of Representatives, have left the Republicans winning a Democrat seat and the Democrats winning a Republican one. [Thanks to RealClearPolitics for the link.]

The elections are unique in the USA because Louisiana has the French electoral system of having no primaries, so all potential candidates stand in a first round of voting on general election day. If no candidate passes 50% of the vote, the top two candidates go to a run-off election the following month. This is the same election system used in successfully France and recently seen in the Ukraine (in less favourable circumstances).

With the final results for the US House of Representatives now in the score is:

2004Republican 232Democrat 202Independent 1
2002Republican 227Democrat 205Independent 1
ChangeRepublican +5Democrat -3Independent n/c

N.B. There were two vacant seats going into the 2004 election.

So the Republican Party has made its five gains after all, confirming that 2004 was a disaster for the Democratic Party across the board nationally. If the Washington State governor election re-count confirms a Republican gain there, then the Democrats will end 2004 with fewer presidential electoral college votes than 2000, fewer Senators and House Representatives than 2002 (already a bad year), and fewer Governors than in 2003 (which included the California recall fiasco for the Democrats).

And they probably outspent the Republicans this time, if we include outside supporters. Ouch!

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