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ArkLaTex In Depth: Political Shift in Shreveport-Bossier - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

ArkLaTex In Depth: Political Shift in Shreveport-Bossier

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SHREVEPORT, La -

Over the past decade, power has swung wildly from the Republicans to the Democrats and back again with alarming speed. The only constant seems to be that voters are dissatisfied with whoever is in power at the time, and here in Shreveport Bossier, it's no different.

KTBS goes In-Depth to explore this political shift.

Nationally, more than 2.5 Million voters have left the Democratic and Republican parties since 2008, while the number of independents, or those who are choosing to drop their political affiliations, are growing. Here in Shreveport-Bossier, the stats reflect the same trend.

Jeffery Sadow is a Political Science Professor at LSUS. He says, the No Party Voter tends to vote on principals rather than political affiliations. "The label means less and less to them and so more and more of them don't see a point in putting one down."

Caddo Parish voting stats offer a prime example of this shift. In 2000, there were 86,422 Democrats in Caddo Parish and 39,316 Republicans. But by 2013, there were only 83,060 Democrats while the Republican party grew to 45,364. All the while, a growing number of voters where shifting to No Party Status. In 2000, there were 28,740 Third Party or No Party voters. But by 2013, that number jumped to 37,960. That shows No Party trend had a growth of more than 9,000 voters in Caddo Parish.

However, Bossier Parish is moving towards the Republican Party. In 2008, there were 25,724 Republican voters. In 2013, that number grew to 29,694. But Other Party or No Party Voters only grew from 17,021 in 2008 to 18,722 in 2013. The rate of growth may be smaller but Bossier Parish stands out as having a greater percentage of Other Party voters with 26.5 percent compared to Caddo's 22.7.

Marion Marks lives in Shreveport. He says, there's a shift because voters are simply tired of politics. "The Republican Party of Louisiana is not a party I'm proud of and I'm a life-long Republican. I believe people are frustrated by politics for many, many reasons and I'm one of those that happen to be frustrated by politicians, because there are too many who are not telling what I believe to be the truth. They expect you to swallow hook, line and sinker what they're feeding you."

Although Marks, doesn't plan on shifting parties anytime soon, others just might. Parker Ward, a local politician has actually shifted affiliations just to catch up with the trend. "I made that change because I knew it'd be better politically, and I knew it would be something I could work around in because the Libertarian Party, I hate to say this, is a small fish in a small pond. Third parties, they'll never win. So you have to be a part of the big two to win."

Professor Sadow says that because Louisiana has an open primary, that allows anyone, no matter their political stance to help choose presidential candidates for each party, which could help lend itself to the No Party Trend in the state. In state's with Closed Primaries like Oklahoma, only those who align themselves with either party can vote in their party's presidential primaries.


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