Hammered in the fall election cycle, unable to field an entire slate of candidates for statewide races, Louisiana’s Democrats are struggling to maintain clout in a state where they dominated for decades.

Democratic Party Chairman Buddy Leach says the situation is a cyclical one, not the sign of a floundering party. Other Democrats say it could take years to rebuild the roster of candidates, fundraising and morale in the party.

Republicans say the state is becoming rock-solid red and Democrats no longer represent the views of a majority of Louisianians.

On Saturday, the governing committee of the Louisiana Democratic Party hears from its four lesser-known gubernatorial candidates and decides whether to throw the weight of the party behind any of them.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.