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RealClearPolitics Politics Nation Blog

 

Blog Home Page --> Governor -- Louisiana

A Little Bit Of History Repeating

A new Southeastern Louisiana University poll shows the nightmare scenario Rep. Bobby Jindal could certainly live without. Jindal, a Republican, finished first in the first round of balloting in 2003, only to be defeated by Democrat Kathleen Blanco in the runoff in December.

This year, after Blanco was blamed for mishandling much of the Katrina disaster, Jindal is giving the race another shot. He's spent the entire campaign well ahead of every other candidate, and, for the most part, above the 50% mark needed to win the election outright and avoid a runoff.

Until now.

The poll, conducted 10/1-7, surveyed 641 registered voters, for a margin of error of +/- 4%. Jindal, State Sen. Walter Boasso (D), businessman John Georges (I) and PSC Commissioner Foster Campbell (D) were tested.

General Election Matchup
(All/Dem/GOP/Ind/White/Black)
Jindal 46 / 26 / 78 / 42 / 58 / 18
Boasso 10 / 17 / 3 / 7 / 6 / 22
Georges 9 / 11 / 8 / 12 / 10 / 7
Campbell 6 / 11 / 1 / 4 / 5 / 8

Jindal, under the 50% mark, still has 29% of voters who are undecided to work with. If he can coax just enough of them to win 50%, he will avoid what could be a major headache for national Republicans. Jindal would be the heavy favorite over any of his opponents in a general election, but heavy favorites can lose, and many would see his failure to win outright as a further bad omen for the GOP.

A side note: While Blanco's approval ratings hovered in the low 30s after the hurricane, she may be regretting her decision not to run for another term. The poll finds 46% of Louisianans approve of her job performance, while 44% disapprove. That being said, if Jindal runs away with the October 20th round of voting, we can imagine that Blanco's approval ratings are probably significantly worse than they look right now.