New Orleans voters who still have not made a final choice on who they want to support in Saturday’s elections should look no farther than their stomachs. When making any important decision, it’s always best to thoroughly research the pros and cons, seek advice from family and friends, and then sleep on it.
According to a report published this week in the Wall Street Journal, scientists, authors and motivational speakers frequently suggest that the power of intuition –“our mind’s ability to understand something without the need for conscious reasoning” – can lead to better decision making. Allowing our rational minds to get involved often shortchanges the process.
Other decisions where “gut feelings” offer important clues include purchasing a new car, moving to a home in perhaps a different neighborhood or changing jobs. With the high level of disinterest in this season’s choice of candidates, making a gut-level decision on whom to vote probably works for most voters.
On the other hand, voters who consider the next selection of the next mayor, councilmember or judge a “life or death” decision are much more likely to let their conscious minds guide them. Either way, get a good night’s sleep and eat a well-balanced meal before going to the polls to create mental clarity and help your gut make a stronger connection to your brain.
Above all, make sure you vote. Voter turnout is currently expected to be low, and in multi-candidate races, even a few votes can make a difference.
MILLENNIALS GAINING VOTER STRENGTH IN ORLEANS PARISH
Candidates can always count on senior and/or chronic voters to cast their ballots. Yet, those votes alone are never enough. In an ongoing effort to reach as many potential supporters as possible — especially newly registered voters — smart campaigns are increasing their focus on millennials and what attracts them to specific candidates.
Millennials — individuals between the age of 25 and 34 years of age — have replaced baby boomers as the largest generation in the U.S., with 26-year-olds as the largest single age group. Many millennials are in the midst of what the U.S. Census Bureau labels “major life milestones” including living away from their parents, marriage, living with a child and being gainfully employed. Only 24 percent of those 25-34 years of age have reached all four milestones.
Currently 55,190 millennials are registered to vote in Orleans Parish, up from 42,938 in 2012. Of the 2017 totals, 22,481 are white, 27,362 African-American, and 5,347 Asian or Latino. Women and Democrats make up more than 50 percent of the voters with an ever-increasing number of Independents. Orleans Parish’s numbers appear to mimic national voter registration trends with a growing number of ethic, independent and third party voters.
Baby-boomers transformed the economy with their “Do-It-Yourself” desire to be independent, free spirits. According to the Wall Street Journal, millennials grew up in “over-scheduled childhoods, with tech-dependent lifestyles and delayed adulthood.” They are more often functioning in a crunched time “Do-It-For-Me” mode with a very different set of priorities and timelines.
Millennials — even Gen Xers — are beginning to run for office in Orleans Parish. Until they become more prevalent in the candidate pool, they voters must choose from among baby-boomer candidates who best meet their needs. Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. Every vote counts.
TREASURER CANDIDATE DERRICK EDWARDS PROJECTED TO MAKE RUNOFF
In one of the most underwhelming statewide campaigns in recent years, New Orleans based attorney/accountant Derrick Edwards is projected by almost all polls to make the runoff in the race for State Treasurer. A Democrat who was not embraced by the Louisiana Democratic Party but endorsed by several Democratic parish committees, Edwards faces three well-funded, better-known Republicans competitors locked in a battle for the other runoff slot.
That Edwards is running first in most polls despite not having a sizeable campaign budget is a testament to his tenacity as a candidate and an individual who has overcome many obstacles.
Danae Columbus, who has had a 30-year career in politics and public relations, offers her opinions on Thursdays. Her career includes stints at City Hall, the Dock Board and the Orleans Parish School Board and former clients such as District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro, City Council members Stacy Head and Jared Brossett, Foster Campbell, Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, former Sheriff Charles Foti and former Councilwoman Cynthia Hedge-Morrell. Her current clients include District B City Council candidate Seth Bloom and At-Large City Council candidate Helena Moreno.