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Louisiana primary a player in presidential race

3 years ago March 23, 2012 Mar 23, 2012 Friday, March 23 2012 Friday, March 23, 2012 9:06:55 PM CDT in News
Source: WBRZ
By: Ashley Rodrigue

BATON ROUGE-  The candidates aren't the only ones in the national spotlight in Louisiana, you are too.

Political analysts say Saturday's primary is a game changer.

All four Republican candidates have been in Louisiana this week, stopping in North Louisiana, Acadiana and closer to home, which to experts, is notable.

"After Super Tuesday, the election nominations usually are sewn-up in both parties and Louisiana doesn't play a roll," said LSU Professor Bob Mann, "This is a rare treat for Louisiana voters, they actually get to play a roll in who is the next president."

Mann says not only will Louisiana's voice be heard, but voters could give Rick Santorum more time and listeners.

"This is going to keep the race alive if Rick Santorum wins and wins decisively tomorrow night, it's going to make it harder for Romney to win the nomination, it'll just make it a longer, more arduous path to the nomination for Romney," said Mann.

Mann also says voters choosing Santorum here could cut down Romney's appeal.

"It's going to be one more state perhaps that he loses that is primarily Evangelical voters or the Christian right is dominant and it shows that Romney has a difficult time winning southern states and also has a difficult time winning states that are populated by Evangelicals," said Mann.

While the outcome for the candidates is uncertain, the effects on Louisiana, according to Mann, are nothing but good.

He said, "There's a small chance that we might get our voice heard in ways we wouldn't have otherwise."

Mann thinks as long as Santorum continues to get voters' support, he could keep this a two-man show for months.

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