The surprise election of Republican David Vitter to Louisiana’s open Senate seat has some Democrats wondering whether the pro-cockfighting position of the leading Democrat candidate cost them the election.
Vitter’s win was a major upset — a Republican had not been elected to the Senate in Louisiana since the end of Reconstruction.
The major problem the Democrats had is that no less than three Democrats ran for the office, splitting the vote and media attention between them.
But exit polls also showed that Vitter received 32 percent of the votes from white women — a surprisingly high number. According to The Times-Picayune,
Some Democratic women said they were turned off by [leading Democratic candidate] John’s support for the bloody sport of cockfighting, an issue that was highlighted by ads from an animal rights group.
La. Dems diagnose party ills after loss. Bill Walsh, The Times-Picayune (Louisiana), November 14, 2004.