Sunday, November 02, 2003

Blanco takes a swing. 

just saw an ad by Blanco in which she takes a swing at the "Washington Politicos" who are behind the negative ads by Jindal. It's a start. She's got to find a way to motivate african Americans to the polls, and she's got to do this by exposing Jindal for the republican operative that he is. Here is more on the election from Stephen Sabludowsky on BayouBuzz.com:

As we ready for Halloween, a new Louisiana governor’s poll shows the balance of the campaign might not be much of a treat for Lt. Gov. Blanco—unless she has a few tricks up her sleeves.

According to an Associated Press story released today, Bobby Jindal received 49 percent compared to Blanco´s 38 percent in an independent poll by Verne Kennedy of the Pensacola, Fla.-based Marketing Research Insight. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points. The gap between the two candidates for our state’s highest administrative office is widening.

According to sources, various business people with an interest in the race commissioned the poll.

Along with the widening numbers, Blanco’s favorability ratings have dropped significantly from 66 to 47 percent within a two-week period.

Assuming the accuracy of the poll, why the gobblins in Mrs. Blanco’s numbers? Here are some possible reasons for the recent polling gap:

The Madam is a Ghoul

The Jindal camp has successively painted Blanco as being “negative ogre”. In my view, this is truly a shame since she has given so much positive to this state, but in the land of politics you reap what you sow. She formerly criticized her democratic opponents for piling up upon her at the last moment of the first primary. Then, instead of bellowing the virtues of her record, she has criticized Jindal’s record. This “negativity” could explain her drop in “favorability ratings”-- which is usually a spin-off of negative or perceived negative campaigning.

The Ghostly Candidate

According to the Jindal camp, Blanco does not want to debate. She publicly said she had to get out and raise money, which, most would say was true. But, she could have received millions of dollars in free advertising discussing health care, tourism, economic development, schools, crime and the other laundry list of issues. Even yesterday, according to news reports, she failed to show up for a face-to-face television debate in Alexandria and a meeting with the municipal mayors. This is not the way to win over an audience—especially one with so much clout such as Mayor C. Ray Nagin of New Orleans who indicated that he still had an open mind.

Apple Bobbing

Bobby Jindal has played it smart. He has voluntarily put his financial records online so the community could see in almost “real-time” from where he was getting the core of his financial support. In contrast, Mrs. Blanco has retreated to the letter of the ethics law and has refused the “Jindal challenge”—whether the challenge was a political gimmick or not. The net effect of the campaign financial tactic showed Jindal is flush with money and has taken away the surprise regarding where he has obtained his funds. Meanwhile, Mrs. Blanco might say she is not going to allow Jindal to run her campaign, but, the young man wins the apple for campaign openness.

Costume Ball
It has not done Mrs. Blanco any good to parade a bunch of political stiffs on a stage to show her support. As many writers and pundits say, these endorsements--in this day and age of information-- are virtually meaningless. St. Tammany Parish is not Tammany Hall.

After all, which is a better haul—a Billy Tauzin and David Vitter versus a John Breaux. After a while, when the endorsements fall straight upon party lines, they masquerade the true reasons for the support and lose their inherent values.

As New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin said in a press conference yesterday, the public doesn’t seem to be responding solely based upon traditional party lines. Blanco has piled up some impressive democratic endorsements. But, because these endorsements are cosmetic in nature—Republican vs. Democrats—they are meaningless to the average voter. They might help with getting out party apparatus and some fund raising, but, the real test will be election day—as to whether any of these endorsers can get out the vote

The Fall

It is no surprise that Halloween’s colors are gold, orange and red. The holiday represents the fall of the leaves and the beginning of the cold. Does this Kennedy poll signify the falling thermometer of Mrs. Blanco’s gubernatorial demise after weathering a grueling “hot” highly-competitive and sultry campaign?

Headless Horsewoman

Whatever the reason for the recent gap, this poll could be the beginning of the end for Mrs. Blanco unless she rides a different horse. Her campaign is headless. The more she goes negative, the more positive Jindal looks. The less she debates, the more she appears mute. The less she reveals her finances, the more she looks like she has something to hide. The more she goes after endorsements, the more she comes across as a traditional politician.

Mrs. Blanco has a record she can stand on and she needs to get in front of the public with Ichabod Jindal at her side and let people know her record and her philosophies and debate the differences. Up until now, her secret quest of lining up political endorsements and funding her treasury is the “witches brew” for campaign failure.