LSUS Professor: Voter turnout key to Shreveport mayoral race

LSU Professor: Voter turnout key to mayoral race

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - It’s the final days of campaigning for Adrian Perkins and Ollie Tyler — only one can be Shreveport’s mayor for the next 4 years.

Perkins, a political newcomer, promotes change and promises of a new day in Shreveport. Tyler, the incumbent, touts proven performance and experience.

LSUS History Professor and Chair of the Department of History and Social Sciences Gary Joiner says both need to stay on the campaign trail until the very end.

“This is a horse race. It’s neck and neck and its gonna be neck and neck til the end. Can one of them stick it out shaking hands, going to meetings, doing commercials?” Joiner said.

Joiner says these election results will have political analysts talking for a long time because it will show who goes out to vote and why.

“The faithful will turn out, both sides. The question is how about those who are not, as they used to say, dyed in the wool?”

December elections historically have very low voter turnout. There’s many factors at play Saturday from age to a rainy forecast. Some voters may not be as interested as they were in the primary now that their top choice has lost.

“If you are a Republican, unless you are interested in a specific council race, it’s going to be a Democratic mayor. If you are looking at somebody who looks at race, it’s gonna be a black mayor. What’s in it for them other than civic responsibility to go vote?”

Joiner says we’ll have to wait and see which candidate is the winner.

“An incumbent typically will push a heavy turnout, That’s across the board, across the nation, because more people know an incumbent than a challenger. However in this case, Mr Perkins has had a lot of positive press, a lot of it, and that might overcome it," Joiner said.

“This is one of those races that I think will either be a real squeaker or a blowout, and there is no way to scientifically prepare for it.”

According to numbers from the Caddo Registrar of Voters, 6,681 early votes have been cast with some mail-in ballots still out. Adrian Perkins was the top vote-getter in November’s primary with 29% of the vote. Mayor Ollie Tyler was in second with 24% of the vote.

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