16: The early take on the election is it looks like Blanco
timed her attack ads against Jindal perfectly. This election
for weeks had been praised as a "clean" election
with little to no negative advertising by both sides. However,
in the last week Blanco and the Democrats blanketed the state
with ads attacking Jindal hard.
and on television, Blanco criticized Jindal’s Department of
Health and Hospitals record, claiming he put money before
people. One prominent ad featured the former head of a state
physicians’ group saying Jindal canceled programs, such as
“Needy Children.” Another ad noted that Jindal took a $24,000
raise soon after he laid off 200 Department of Health and
run these ads earlier Jindal's campaign would have had time
to rebut the attacks and go on the offensive themselves, but
by timing the broad negative attack for the last week Blanco
was able to time her momentum to peak perfectly, while at
the same time allowing Jindal no time to react.
obliviously aware that Blanco had picked up some serious momentum,
but we thought the final tracking numbers from Friday showing
Jindal ahead by four was an indication that Jindal had stopped
her momentum in time and had built a big enough lead to hold
on. We were wrong.
election been run three days earlier or a week later Jindal
probably would have won. Again this is an early take, but
it look like Blanco's campaign outstrategized the Jindal campaign
and that was the difference.
Final Analysis 11/15: The final
tracking poll from MRI shows a stabilization for Jindal,
which is very important to the young Republican's chances.
Jindal's lead, which had grown to as high as nine in the MRI
poll taken at the very beginning of the week, had fallen to
only four on the survey taken 11/10 - 11/12, and the results
for the tracking numbers for Wednesday and Thursday showed
Blanco pulling to within one point, 45%-44%. Had Blanco's
same momentum continued through the final tracking poll on
Friday we were prepared to switch and call for a Blanco win,
but that final survey of 400 voters showed Jindal back up
with a four point lead.
no mistake about it, this is not Kentucky where Fletcher was
a shoo-in on election day or even Mississippi where Barbour
was 70%-80% likely to win even though the final margin of
victory would be close. This election is a true toss up and
Jindal's ethnicity provides a significant wild card that is
almost impossible to calibrate. There are other factors that
provide a higher degree of uncertainty than usual: today is
the start of hunting season and #3 ranked LSU plays a huge
football game on the road at Alabama. These are small factors
that probably hurt Jindal slightly though it is difficult
to know exactly how much. The biggest wild card, of course,
is that we're talking about Louisiana.
in our initial analysis if Jindal could maintain a 2 point
lead in our RCP poll average he should be able to hold on
and pull out the win. Our final poll average today comes in
at 45.0% - 42.8%, a 2.2 point lead for Jindal, which should
be just enough to get him to the finish line ahead of Blanco.
Of the four Governor's races this year this is the only one
that is a true toss up on election day, but Jindal looks poised
to make history and immediately become a national star in
the Republican Party. Jindal 51% - Blanco 49%.
14: The latest
tracking poll from MRI shows a significant closing of
the gap for Blanco from down over nine points to only four
points with a day left. Some of the last minute attack ads
accusing Jindal of slashing health-care while he was secretary
for Department of Health and Hospitals may be leading to Jindal's
drop from 49% to 46%. But it also appears that Blanco has
benefited from the final debate, where her answer to a question
on the "defining moment" in her life may be moving voters:
most defining moment in my life came, when I lost a child.
Those are the moments when you have to really, really know
that you have faith and faith can bring you where you have
to go....That's what makes me what I am today, knowing that
one of the worst things that could happen to a person happened
to me, and we were able to protect our family, and the rest
of my children are stronger because of it,"
George Sells, one of the debate panelists said "in the studio,
it was a very dramatic moment." While Blanco appears to have
the last minute momentum she is still under 45% and could
well have fallen too far behind to catch Jindal. The
African-American vote will be a large factor in determining
the final winner, as is usual, and Jindal looks poised to
get almost 15%, which is close to double the normal proportion
that goes to Republicans in Louisiana.
with the Washington Post Douglas Brinkley, director of
the Eisenhower Center for American Studies at the University
of New Orleans suggested:
think some old boy state's rights anti-black types are switching
over to Blanco because they don't want to see an Indian-American
the wild card or hidden factor in the election, and Blanco
would be hard pressed to pull out a victory without these
votes. But because these voters are traditionally Republican
voters, and given the ninth-inning tightening toward Blanco,
this could very well be the difference in a Democratic win.
at the end of the day, we suspect this type of voting will
be small, and will be offset by crossover votes from blacks
and non-traditional Republican voters. Several days ago Jindal
was poised for a 54% - 46% type of win, it now looks like
this race is going right down to the wire. Jindal holds on,
barely, 51% - 49%.
12: Having won California, Kentucky and Mississippi, Republicans
are poised to go 4 for 4 this Saturday if 32 year-old Bobby
Jindal can defeat Lt. Gov. Kathleen Blanco. Piyush "Bobby"
Jindal led the 17-candidate open primary on Oct 4, capturing
33% of the vote compared to second place Blanco's 18%. (Like
much in Louisiana, their elections are different from the
rest of the country, all the candidates run in a single election
or primary and if no one captures over 50% of the vote the
two top vote winners advance to a head-to-head runoff. This
is what's taking place this Saturday, Nov. 15.)
set of polls following the Oct 4th primary showed Blanco with
a 4-7 point lead on average, but since the third week in October
Jindal has moved out to a small, yet solid lead in most polls.
Of particular concern for Blanco is her inability to poll
over 45% in any survey since mid-October, while Jindal has
received 48%-49% in five different polls over the same period.
extremely young age and his Indian ancestry have contributed
to a higher than normal level of uncertainty in this race,
as there were questions whether a 32-year old son of immigrants
from India could win in Louisiana. In what may be a reflection
of how far the South and the country have moved with regard
to race, it appears that Jindal's Indian ancestry is having
little effect in this contest. Of course, polls and votes
can be two different things.
Democrats in the South, Blanco is going to need massive support
from the African-American community to win. However, in a
stunning move the black mayor of New Orleans has endorsed
Jindal and it appears to be helping him draw more support
from the African-American community than is typical for Republicans.
Blanco does have the support of the very well liked Senator
Breaux, it is more than countered by the enthusiastic endorsement
of Jindal by popular Gov. Mike Foster.
Senator Mary Landrieu was able to win 52% - 48%, because she
got that huge African-American vote and a very respectable
percent of the the white vote.
race Landrieu was the more likable and better candidate. In
this year's race, Jindal seems to the better and more attractive
candidate. "Jindal is being perceived as a progressive, revolutionary
Republican figure in the state," says Douglas Brinkley, director
of the Eisenhower Center for American Studies at the University
of New Orleans.
held a 1.5 point lead in our final poll average last year
and she went on to a four point win. Jindal currently holds
a 4.2 point lead in our latest average and if that can stay
over 2% he should be able to pull out the win on Saturday.
Jindal will win almost 15% of the black vote and will hold
on to enough of the traditional Republican vote to squeeze
out a victory and make history.