After a couple of weeks where Blanco's campaign has appeared to be in disarrary, and Jindal has inundated television stations all around Louisiana with multiple ads touting his own successes and accusing Democrat Kathleen Blanco of negative advertising, he has developed a big lead finally corroborated by independent pollsters.
Jindal has had Governor Mike Foster running interference for his candidacy: he criticizes Blanco relentlessly for contrived ties to imprisoned former Governor Edwin Edwards, and claiming that a Blanco executiveship would actually be run by her husband. He makes these bigoted attacks against women from his weekly radio show, while Jindal sits on the sidelines, shielded from criticism for negative campaigning.
Meanwhile Jindal has campaign dollars rolling in hand over fist while Kathleen Blanco has had to struggle for every penny.
The result is that a candidate who used to be one of the most respected politicians in the state has watched her favorable rating drop from 66% to 47% in a matter of weeks.
Is some of this her own fault for running a poor campaign? Most assuredly. Watching this election progress since the primary has been a study in disillusionment. I'm still a young man, and of all the Democrats in this state who have been elected Governor in my lifetime, one was convicted of racketeering and the other switched parties to run for reelection as a Republican. Blanco, though too conservative for my tastes, was a breath of fresh air from politics as usual, and she looked to have the election in the bag considering the results from the primary.
Now the election is Bobby Jindal's to lose. He's a young man who pretends to have new ideas, but a brief look at his "vision" for Louisiana reveals the same tired Republican platforms of endless tax cuts followed by spending cuts to stay within budgets, followed by privatization of state services. It reveals an antipathy for the poor and middle-class that should shame voters, but they've been successfully fooled by endless advertising and the smearing of a woman whose commitment to this state has been unmatched over the last twenty years. There's still a couple of weeks to go, and Blanco's campaign will hopefully turn things around, but I feel pretty sad today.
I thought I'd share that with you.