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Reports confirm Jindal loses only if he beats himself

Despite one opponent’s wallet being a little fatter than his, when Rep. Bobby Jindal swings his it’s going to hurt a lot worse relevant to the governor’s race in Louisiana this fall than anybody else’s.

Campaign finance reports that are out show Republican Jindal raised the most dollars over the most recent reporting period, topping other reporting candidates Democrats state Sen. Walter Boasso and Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell and Republican businessman John Georges. However, courtesy of his own money, Georges has a slightly higher total of cash on hand than Jindal’s $5.7 million, both dwarfing the amounts available to Boasso (although he has pledged to throw more than the $1.4 million he already has put in as well) and to Campbell (who already loaned himself $400,000).

The real story, however, is that Jindal collected his sum from a broad base of donors that makes the other three candidates’ look puny. In other words, compared to Jindal Campbell is hardly getting any money from any body, while Boasso and Georges would be in the same boat if they weren’t throwing in so much of their own personal funds.

It’s an indicator that not a lot of people are betting on anybody but Jindal winning. Donors are rational individuals: unless they feel very ideologically committed to a certain candidate and his ideas, there’s no sense in giving money to somebody they really don’t has a chance of winning because money buys access to elected politicians. But there’s no access if they guy can’t get elected, so why waste your money? (Really telling is that, to this point, no Democrat party organization has given to Campbell or Boasso.)

The reports, by way of listed expenditures, give some insight into their strategies. Being in the most enviable situation of having both high name recognition and intended vote percentage, Jindal has not had to spend much to this point since he hasn’t had to create both of these conditions. No doubt the day after the reporting period Jindal went out and made major expenditures revealing what his campaign will do – but opponents will have to wait weeks before finding out what they are on the next report, if the products of those buys haven’t already hit the airwaves, phone lines, etc. by then.

One must wonder what kind of advice Georges has been getting. For a guy with almost zero name recognition and getting about a percent of the vote in polls, he can’t start spending big too soon, especially with so much of the Jindal mountain to have to detonate. Yet outside of some print ads there’s hardly any indicator that he’s running for this office; waiting until after Labor Day and thinking money can buy him parity or better with Jindal is foolhardly (remember this guy?). Campbell’s campaign soon will suffocate for lack of funds, while only Boasso’s campaign is doing what it has to do to have a chance to beat Jindal.

The reports only reaffirm that at this point the only guy that can beat Jindal in this contest is Jindal himself.

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