Crossposted at Daily Kingfish, a Louisiana politics blog by and for Louisiana Democrats
Even though the full results have been made available to the media, the Louisiana GOP refuses to read and to acknowledge a Verne Kennedy poll commissioned by John Georges, Republican candidate for Governor from Metairie. The poll of 600 Louisianans conducted 29 March through 3 April yielded some interesting results. According to the Shreveport Times,
When the poll concentrated only on Jindal, Breaux and Georges, the responses to the question about which candidate the respondent would chose if the election were today were 39 percent for Jindal, 30 percent for Breaux and 14 percent for Georges, with 17 percent uncertain.
And they continue,
In the trial heat between Jindal and Breaux, 49 percent chose Jindal and 36 percent Breaux, with 15 percent undecided.
Jindal and the Louisiana GOP thought Jindal would coast to the Governor’s mansion in October. Jindal has been campaigning throughout the state for months, including making appearances and offering “testimony” in Baptist churches, and the Louisiana GOP daily demonizes every candidate who has announced an intention to run, whether it be Walter Boasso (R-Arabi), John Breaux (D-Crowley) or John Georges, who Roger Villere, Chairman of the Louisiana GOP, calls an “opponent.” Given all this effort on behalf of Jindal by the Louisiana GOP, one would expect Jindal to be a prohibitive favorite, not a mere favorite, especially since Jindal has been behaving as if he is the heir apparent since Blanco announced her intention to not run for reelection. 49%, in other words, is a weak number for someone who is treated as an incumbent both by the media and by his political party.
The following should also serve as a source of aggravation for an already splenetic Louisiana GOP, especially as Breaux, Campbell, Boasso and Georges are yet to engage in full campaigning:
In a trial heat for governor, when voters were read a list of all possible candidates for governor, the preferences were 39 percent for Jindal, 23 percent for Breaux, 10 percent for Georges, 5 percent for Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu, 4 percent for state Treasurer John Kennedy, 2 percent for Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell and 1 percent each for state Sen. Walter Boasso and former Attorney General Richard Ieyoub.
Perhaps 39 percent is the highest Jindal can earn with the present field of candidates in the jungle primary. Yes, Mitch Landrieu, Richard Ieyoub and John Kennedy have not announced and will not announce, but I doubt supporters of John Kennedy and especially Mitch Landrieu and Richard Ieyoub will cast their votes for Jindal. And I imagine Foster Campbell, Walter Boasso, John Georges and John Breaux will expand their bases once they launch their respective campaigns. After all, Breaux has not officially announced, and John Georges, who hails fom Jinda’s Congressional district, will, according to politicsla.com, which requires a subscription,
emphasize his similarities on economic and social issues with Republican frontrunner Congressman Bobby Jindal before drawing distinctions in background and ability. “In July, people will look at that and say, ‘He’s just like Bobby.’ Then we will differentiate,” he said.
For instance: “The difference between Bobby and me is I am a decision maker while he is a policy maker,” he said. “Jindal suffers from the same problem Kathleen Blanco does. He waits to see which way the wind is blowing.”
Boasso will chip away at Jindal’s Republican base from the other end, the end of the reformer, the populist. Here is Boasso’s message:
“It’s the same old people trying to control things,” he said. “They put it out into the public that it was a big consensus. That’s misleading.
“The days when these small groups of insiders determine our future has got to come to an end.”
And Boasso and Georges, both millionaires, will have the money to communicate their respective messages.
Jindal will not have much room to manoeuvre once Boasso and Georges introduce themselves to the public. Moreover, Foster Campbell (D-Bossier City), former state Senator and current Public Service Commissioner for north Louisiana, will mobilize northern Louisianans and others disenchanted with utility companies and oil interests. And complicating this is the base Breaux already has despite the Louisiana GOPs coordinated smear campaign, which includes letters to the editors of The Shreveport Times and The Ouchita Citizen, biased journalism by sympathetic reports, a website and a redundant television ad airing throughout the state of Louisiana.
Piyush “Bobby” may have to accept the 39% of Verne Kennedy’s poll, which probably explains why Roger Villere is now telling reporters he wants to abolish the jungle primary for state races. If you cannot force everyone out of the field in the name of a Jindal victory, then I guess the only option left is to change the election process. Why do Jindal and Villere have such contempt for Louisiana voters and for Louisiana election law?