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22.3.06

Polls buoy Jindal's hopes, crush Breaux's and Blanco's

Rep. Bobby Jindal and state Republicans hardly could ask for better news – a Verne Kennedy poll for the 2007 governor’s contest puts Jindal way out in front and sheds light onto the new reality in Louisiana politics, a state Republicans will enjoy to the chagrin of Democrats.

The poll had Jindal at 39 percent, retired U.S. Sen. John Breaux 17 percent; Gov. Kathleen Blanco 16 percent, U.S. Sen. David Vitter 10 percent and former Attorney General Richard Ieyoub 2 percent. Shaw Group CEO Jim Bernhard, PSC Commissioner Foster Campbell and state Sen. Walter Boasso each had 1 percent. But the most interesting statistics were the attendant “don’t know” figures – 12 percent for the “primary,” 9 percent for the “general” election. Similarly discouraging for Democrats, another poll privately commissioned by Democrat Party strongman Agriculture Commissioner Bob Odom put Jindal in front of Breaux heads-up 48-42.

They may try in the near future, but there simply is no way for Democrats to put a positive spin on these numbers, probably beyond their worst nightmares 18 months out from the election. Consider:

  • There is no upside for Breaux’s numbers – after 32 years in the state electoral spotlight, there’s little he could do in campaigning terms to increase a positive view of him among voters
  • There is little upside for Blanco’s numbers – if this is the best a sitting governor can do who, because of the hurricane disasters, is in the news every day, she is in deep trouble.
  • Vitter is not running; it can be assumed most of his vote would be headed Jindal’s way if the election were held now putting Jindal on the cusp of duplicating Vitter’s 2004 Senate election by winning outright in the primary.
  • 12 percent “don’t know” is a low figure this far out, devastating to the incumbent Blanco and quasi-incumbents like Breaux, showing a number of people already have made up their minds and, research shows, well over half who make an early choice stick with it all the way through.
    In a hypothetical general election runoff, with just 10 percent undecided at this point, Jindal already just shy of half, and quasi-incumbent Breaux well below half, it will be very difficult for Breaux to turn that around.

    If these discouraging numbers prompt Breaux to stay with his cushy post-Senate lobbying gig, the news gets worse for Democrats. Another older poll had Jindal comfortably ahead of Blanco 53-31 head-to-head, numbers ringing a death knell to a sitting governor when a challenger polls over 50 percent and her 22 points back.

    None of this should have been a surprise. Blanco has looked incompetent throughout the aftermath of the disaster and Jindal much the opposite. Further, his close loss in the 2003 race should have sent a warning to all future opponents. Simply, someone as young as he, with absolutely no electoral experience whatsoever, almost never comes within an eyelash of winning the state’s top office (not even Huey Long, who already had got elected to the then-Public Service Commission, came as close at a similar age in 1924).

    Jindal epitomizes the “new” Louisiana politician – a true conservative reformer. Why he defeats Breaux is he provides such a stunning contrast to the “old” style of Breaux – a closet liberal who became increasingly so, very comfortable with the good-old-boy system.

    Jindal beats Blanco on competence; he beats Breaux on reformism and ideology. Anything can happen in 18 months, but on the balance, he poses a serious problem for Louisiana Democrats.
  • 2 comments:

    we saw that... said...

    piyush jindal - thats his real name by the way, is hardly as you assert a "true conservative reformer." despite swearing an oath to protect and defend our constitution, jindal voted for the usa patriot act and that shows he has no regards nor understanding of the very freedoms this country was founded upon. piyush is all about consolidating power. a vote for ol piyush will only result in more orwellian bush crime family dominated police state loss of freedoms.

    Anonymous said...

    He can't be any worse than ole " let em die in the roadsides Blanko"
    Change is always good especially in a state of moral deprevity like Louisiana.