Indian-American Could Beat the Odds in the South
Posted on Oct 19, 2007
The voters of Louisiana are very close to electing as their governor Bobby Jindal, a conservative Republican congressman of Indian descent. While the chattering class is preoccupied with whether the nation is ready for a black or woman president, the conservative Republicans of Louisiana, many of whom once threw their support behind former klansman David Duke, seem to have moved on.
New York Times:
An Oxford-educated son of immigrants from India is virtually certain to become the leading candidate for Louisiana’s next governor in Saturday’s primary election. It would be an unlikely choice for a state that usually picks its leaders from deep in the rural hinterlands and has not had a nonwhite chief executive since Reconstruction.
But peculiar circumstances have combined to make Representative Bobby Jindal, a conservative two-term Republican, the overwhelming favorite. Analysts predict Mr. Jindal, 36, could get more than 50 percent of the vote in the open primary, thus avoiding a November runoff and becoming the nation’s first Indian-American governor. If he fails to win a majority, he would face the next-highest vote getter in the runoff.
Louisiana Democrats are demoralized, caught between the perception of post-hurricane incompetence surrounding their standard bearer, Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, who is not running for re-election, and corruption allegations against senior elected officials like William J. Jefferson, the congressman from New Orleans.