by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Democrats were dealt another blow from within their own ranks this week as yet another state lawmaker declared he was leaving the party.
According to a Monday report by The Advocate, a Louisiana-based newspaper, state Rep. Jeremy LaCombe announced he had left the Democratic Party and would be registering as a Republican.
It was not immediately clear what prompted LaCombe’s departure, however he is now the second Louisiana Democrat in less than a month to switch party affiliations, and the third nationwide after another state lawmaker in North Carolina did the same.
Last month, Louisiana state Rep. Francis Thompson gave Republicans in the state House a supermajority after he switched his party affiliation, and earlier this month, North Carolina state Rep. Tricia Cotham gave Republicans in the state House a supermajority with her switch as well.
The switches come as President Biden faces a near-record low approval rating among key groups, including women (43% now vs. 42% low), voters ages 45+ (41% vs. 39% low), suburban voters (41% vs. 39% low), rural voters (31% vs. 30% low) and Democrats (81% vs. 78% low) – Democratic men in particular (79% vs. 78% low), according to a recent Fox News poll.
Biden is also at a low mark of 41% approval among suburban women.
Additionally, a separate recent poll found that only a third of Americans believed Biden deserved to be re-elected in 2024.
Carolina Journal recently reported on the potential impact of Cotham’s party switch on N.C. Democrats.
The proverbial question is, how does it affect the state Democrat Party moving forward, including Gov. Roy Cooper?
“As a former Democrat, I understand her feelings about being thrown under the bus, and I think this sends an important signal to the statewide Democratic Party that if they want to be a big tent party, they have to make room for moderate centrist Democrats to have a place,” political consultant Brad Crone, president of Campaign Connections, told Carolina Journal. …