Well, I thought we were in an era of GOP decline. But, as I arrive in Salina, Kansas, I read that Republican Bobby Jindal was just elected Governor of Louisiana, a pickup for the GOP. He won with over 50% of the vote against 11 opponents, “more than enough to win outright and avoid a Nov. 17 runoff.” I guess citizens of the Bayou State aren’t blaming the GOP for the flawed response to Hurricane Katrina.
His closest competitor, Democrat Walter Boasso didn’t even reach half the Republican’s total.
Look for Jindal, soon to become the nation’s youngest Governor, to be a rising star in the GOP. A principled conservative, he is the son on Indian immigrants.
Coupled with Jim Ogonowski’s “near upset” in Massaschusetts’ Fifth Congressional District earlier this week, 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, Tedy Kennedy and John Kerry in a district the latter carried by 16 points.
Read Michael Barone’s piece on the Massachusetts special where that sage pundit notes that the Republican did well running against the Democratic Congress, “the first time since 1994 that Republicans have been able to campaign against a Democratic Congress” and for “holding down taxes.”
Sounds like a recipe for GOP candidates to follow in the coming year. And if they run as far ahead of W’s 2004 numbers as did Jim Ogonowski, we could see a banner year for the GOP in 2008.