Bobby Jindal (R) received more than the 50% needed on Saturday to avoid a run off in Louisiana’s free-for-all election, becoming the nation’s first Indian-American governor. Sure, his victory was Katrina-related, but one can’t help but notice that last week – which included the GOP’s narrow congressional loss in blue Massachusetts — wasn’t a bad one at the ballot box for the Republican Party. Are things not THAT bad for the GOP?
Last year I underestimated GOP losses (I figured the House and Senate would be nearly 50-50), partially because I instinctively discounted the media hype that every race was breaking in favor of the Democrats. Why did I do that? Because they were blindsided by the election results in 2004. Just as they were blindsided by the election results in 2002. And they were blindsided by the election results of 1994.
Broken clocks are right twice a day, so the media’s expectations of Democratic victories will be right sometimes. But I’d ask gloomy Republicans what the generic ballot edge that Democrats have right now ended up being worth to Jindal’s rivals. That and $1.80 or whatever will get them a cup of coffee at Starbucks this morning.