VOTE FOR THE
Edwin Edwards v. David Duke, Governor, Louisiana, 1991
Question: When should you vote for a candidate that has been in-
vestigated four separate times by federal grand juries for
racketeering, bribery, and extortion?
Answer: When his opponent is the grand imperial wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.
This could probably only happen in Louisiana—a state that is to colorful and memorable politics what Milwaukee is to beer. Edwin Edwards was as colorful and bold a politician (some would say shameless) as Louisiana had seen in a while. And that state has seen its share of colorful and bold (OK, shameless) political figures. Remember Huey Long, the Kingfish? And his brother Earl, who was twice elected governor, then hospitalized for mental illness, then elected to the U.S. Congress?
For much of its recent history, the politics of Louisiana have had clear fault lines—the first being religion. Thirty percent of the voters come from heavily ethnic Cajun Catholic areas, which are often the regions that provide the swing votes in close elections; approximately 25 percent of the state's voters are from mixed-religion New Orleans; and the remaining 45 percent are from the heavily Protestant area north of Baton Rouge, the state capital.
Another fault line in Louisiana's politics is race. Around 30 percent of the voters are African American. These voters are normally a reliable source of