Tactics and Substance in the 2004 Elections GoogleNews: Howard Dean

November 16, 2003

by V

Jindal goes down

Didn't expect this: Democrat Blanco won the Louisiana governorship.

La. Governor-Elect Starts Transition
[Kathleen] Blanco, the state's Democratic lieutenant governor, defeated conservative Indian-American Bobby Jindal with 52 percent of the vote in a runoff election Saturday that dashed the Republican Party's hopes for a sweep of the Deep South.
All the polls I had seen predicted a Jindal win; that the polls appear to have been wrong is mighty interesting.

Some wags have postulated that Blanco won because she has lighter skin. Given how little I know about Louisiana politics, I guess it's possible that had something to do with it.

But it's insulting to the public (and so perpetuates voter apathy) to discount the possibility that the Republican's positions on issues like abortion had a real effect on people's votes. Blanco ad-blitzed an attack on Jindal's no-exceptions position on abortion in the last several days of the campaign; maybe that's what moved the electorate.
Posted by V at November 16, 2003 09:13 PM

A lot of people say that their positions on various issues are similar, and that's true, but when push comes to shove, Blanco is pragmatic, and Jindal is an ideologue. And the people of this state have seen enough political scandal and hooliganry to have some idea of where their bread is buttered.

Besides, in whose hands would you prefer to place your children's health and education - a 60 year old grandmother and former teacher with a long history of public service and politicking, or a 32 year old, Ivy league, job-hopping "foreigner" (yeah, I know where he was born, but do you think that matters to everyone?) who at one time claimed to have had a brush with Satan?

I also think this was a ladies' election. I heard the same story from at least half a dozen people - that they went to vote and there were a bunch of women in line, and only a few men. When I went, early in the morning, there were 11 women and 1 man, and my husband went later and told a similar story. Usually, it's about even.

Knowing the population of my state, I'd say Jindal's ethnicity had something to do with it for about 10-20% of those voting for Blanco. But then again, I expect a lot of the rednecks stayed home rather than giving their vote to either a non-white OR a woman. They tend to be just as misogynistic/antiquated in their views of women as they are racist.

Posted by: tek at November 16, 2003 11:59 PM

Recommended Reading:

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Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush
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The Great Unraveling
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