Or at least, according to Dr. Verne Kennedy, at least, the Governor’s numbers are not so rosy and are low enough that he could have an opponent or two of worth.
Which on paper makes sense, but, in reality, at least right now, is not likely.
According to Dr. Verne Kennedy, Jindal is not quite over the 50% favorables and his favorables to unfavorable ratios numbers are below what a candidate would normally need to win an election.
By comparison, Mitch Landrieu’s statewide ratio figures are 5 to 1, to Jindal’s 2.2 to 1.
And Landrieu is an “untouchable” in Louisiana--a Democrat.
So, should Jindal worry?
Well, if the election were today and if Jindal and Landrieu or if Jindal and Louisiana State Treasurer John Kennedy were to be gubernatorial opponents, according to pollster Verne Kennedy, the Governor would win in a landslide.
Jindal need not worry as Landrieu nor Kennedy have made any efforts to be our next head of state.
However, that fact won’t stop the governor from hitting the road to Texas, Mississippi and who knows where to rake in more campaign loot in states where he is popular.
So, should the Governor be without concern?
For one, state services which are now already taxed to the hilt will be further strained as the Governor and the legislature tackle an alligator of a projected $1.6 billion budget shortfall this spring.
Unlike last year, when Jindal made national photo opts near the Gulf of Mexico during the BP War, voters of this state are going to expect the Governor to make government work and the trains to run on time rather than his sending proxies to do his bidding during the legislative sessions.
The Governor is already in the middle of a race and regional skirmish with his recent proposal to merge the University of New Orleans and Southern University of New Orleans.
A very heated skirmish is expected on reapportionment which could poison the well for the upcoming regular session when the budget will be battled.
So, the Governor will not be facing a period of time when nothing happens in state government and the state’s highest elected official can skip from one parish to another promoting his administration’s good deeds on the state’s dime. Instead, he will be facing a lot of angry people--some who want more out of state government and others who would prefer that state government not exist—until, of course, they need government for them.
Actually, the “worse-case scenario” appears to be, according to Verne Kennedy, that a Republican or a Tea Party candidate plus a well-funded and popular Democrat would squeeze votes from Jindal. That’s what happened when Edwin Edwards was bested by Buddy Roemer, years back.
But, the last time I checked, there is no Democrat with any real name recognition or money in Louisiana who could possibly make a run given the pounding that party has taken in recent years and especially considering how much cash Jindal has in his coffers.
The Tea Party does not have enough clout in Louisiana to turn an election in favor of an outsider versus a well-known and somewhat popular Republican.
And the Louisiana Republican Party would kill its first born before allowing a bona-fide candidate to take on the man who has been its “life-spring” in recent years. For instance, the GOP is getting a piece of the book action and how many party leaders can swing that kind of money into the party coffers as the Governor has been able to do over the past few years.
According to Kennedy, if Jindal’s numbers drop into the low forties he could be a lot more vulnerable.
With the sessions down the pike, sure, that is possible.
And, if real legitimate well-financed Republican Party and/or Tea Party and Democratic candidates were to suddenly emerge, then, maybe, just maybe, he would have to dig deep and spend some of his campaign war-chest.
Until that happens, despite these latest poll numbers, Jindal is “In Like Flint” without a real hint of worries.
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