April 16, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Louisiana - 5th District

Incumbent -- Rodney Alexander (R) ; Running for re-election

Safe Republican
Race Ratings Key

CQ Politics rates this race as "Safe," meaning the incumbent party is virtually certain to win the seat.


District Information

District Profile from Politics in America

The 5th stretches south from the Arkansas border, with the Mississippi River delta parishes in its east and the national forests and midsize cities of central Louisiana in its west. It is conservative throughout and is plagued by pockets of poverty and unemployment despite numerous efforts to bring more economic opportunities to the area.

Although the rich, black soil along the Mississippi River produces much of the state's cotton and soybeans, poor education and transportation systems still hinder significant economic growth. The outlook is not entirely bleak, however -- although the district still ranks last in the state for median household income at less than $36,000, it has risen markedly since 2000.

Monroe depends increasingly on health care, service and retail industries, and it is home to a University of Louisiana campus and CenturyLink, a telecommunications company. Development projects -- including improvements to a Ouachita River port in West Monroe -- brought some jobs, tourism and revenue to the district.

The 5th's portion of central Louisiana is fueled by Alexandria in Rapides Parish, which is home to a Procter & Gamble detergent manufacturing plant. In the district's northwest, Lincoln Parish hosts Louisiana Tech University in Ruston and the historically black Grambling State University in Grambling.

This once-Democratic district now leans Republican, but the 5th's voters will support conservatives of either party. More than one-third of the district's residents are black, and Democrats hold many local offices, although residents of Baptist- and Pentecostal-dominated northern Louisiana are more likely than the Catholics in the south to vote for Republicans. John McCain took 62 percent of the district's vote in the 2008 presidential election.

Major Industry

Agriculture, health care, higher education

Cities

Monroe, 48,815; Alexandria, 47,723; Ruston, 21,859

Notable

Grambling State became the first Louisiana college or university to receive a visit from a sitting president when Bill Clinton gave the 1999 commencement address.

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