Rep. Bobby Jindal Wins Louisiana Governor’s Race

It was a good day yesterday for Republicans, and an especially good day for Louisiana as Rep. Bobby Jindal was elected Saturday as governor:

BATON ROUGE, La. – U.S. Rep. Bobby Jindal easily defeated 11 opponents and became the state’s first nonwhite governor since Reconstruction, decades after his parents moved to the state from India to pursue the American dream.

Jindal, a 36-year-old Republican, will be the nation’s youngest governor. He had 53 percent with 625,036 votes with about 92 percent of the vote tallied. It was more than enough to win Saturday’s election outright and avoid a Nov. 17 runoff.

“My mom and dad came to this country in pursuit of the American dream. And guess what happened. They found the American dream to be alive and well right here in Louisiana,” he said to cheers and applause at his victory party.

His nearest competitors: Democrat Walter Boasso with 208,690 votes or 18 percent; Independent John Georges had 167,477 votes or 14 percent; Democrat Foster Campbell had 151,101 or 13 percent. Eight candidates divided the rest.


Political analysts said Jindal built up support as a sort of “buyer’s remorse” from people who voted for Blanco last time and had second thoughts about that decision. Blanco was widely criticized for the state’s response to Hurricane Katrina and she announced months ago that she would not seek re-election.

“I think the Jindal camp, almost explicitly, (wanted) to cast it this way: If you were able to revote, who would you vote for?” said Pearson Cross, a University of Louisiana at Lafayette political scientist.

Jindal has held a strong lead in the polls since the field of candidates became settled nearly two months ago.

But the two multimillionaires in the race — Boasso, a state senator from St. Bernard Parish, and Georges, a New Orleans-area businessman — poured millions of their own dollars into their campaigns to try to prevent Jindal’s victory.

And remember, that’s not all desperate Democrats did in La. to try and overcome Jindal’s popularity.

Former Louisianan Erick at RedState is elated:

If you don’t live in Louisiana, you have no clue what it is like. You may think you do, but you don’t. You make think your state sucks, but it doesn’t really compared to Louisiana. Louisiana sucks in a way that is soul killing because it is such a wonderful, beautiful, wonderful place, and yet it is so dysfunctional it saps and taxes (quite literally, they tax everything there) your talent and your energy and you leave if you can, like I did.

Think of the United States if Reagan had claimed victory after 200 years of Carter, instead of just 4. That’s what this is like. That’s the closest equivalent.

GayPatriotWest thinks that Jindal’s victory, and a close race out of Massachusetts that saw a Republican narrowly lose to a Democrat may be a sign of good things to come for Republicans:

Coupled with Jim Ogonowski’s “near upset” in Massaschusetts’ Fifth Congressional District earlier this week [against Democrat Niki Tsongas], Jindal’s victory indicates that we should not yet count the GOP out for 2008. Ogonowski ran well despite visits from such Democratic celebrities as Bill Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Ted[d]y Kennedy and John Kerry in a district the latter carried by 16 points.

Captain Ed believes Jindal’s star is bright enough that we may see him as a contender for president in 2015.

Anything’s possible, of course, when it comes to next year’s election (and beyond), but I’m reserving my optimism (or pessimism) until we get a good look at polling trends next year once we know who the opponents in each race are going to be. In that Massachusetts election, Niki Tsongas (widow of Paul Tsongas) was considered by “progressives” to be a weak candidate (more on that here) and didn’t generate a lot of enthusiasm in liberal circles.

Louisianans were fed up with Democrat ‘leadership’ in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and elected a Republican to see if he could do any better. That’s not to take anything away from Jindal’s victory and the excitement it has generated, but I suspect the fact alone that he was not a Democrat was a considerable factor in him getting elected, more so than his strong conservative credentials. Still, this provides the citizens of Louisiana an opportunity to see the benefits of conservative leadership – providing that Jindal governs based on the conservative principles he talked up while campaigning.

Cross-posted from the SisterToldjah blog.

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