Woody Jenkins is the Republican running for the Baton Rouge seat vacated by Rep. Richard Baker (R-La.), and he is in some trouble. The special election takes place this Saturday, and it is going to be fairly close — advantage to the Democratic candidate, Don Cazayoux.
Unions and the Democratic Party have dumped a lot of money into this race, hoping to make the seat go Democratic — the DCCC alone has spent nearly $1 million. The race is still very close. The last public poll I can find had Jenkins behind by five points, and I’m told that his internals have him 3 points ahead. Starting this week, the unions will go up with a new television ad buy and hammer Jenkins until Election Day. Jenkins has been short of cash, outraised 2-to-1 by his opponent.
The Club for Growth has been advertising in favor of Jenkins, who is a strong conservative. He is well-known and defined within the district — both in the good and bad senses of the phrase. Democrats have been exploiting baggage from his 28-year career in the legislature and the 1996 race in which a U.S. Senate seat was probably stolen from him. Jenkins has portrayed Cazayoux as just another Democrat who will talk the conservative talk at home and then go to Washington and do whatever Nancy Pelosi tells him.
Jenkins has made use of popular Gov. Bobby Jindal’s (R) image and endorsement, but Jindal has been conspicuously absent from the campaign — he has not cut any ads for Jenkins as of this date.