Louisiana Governor: Jindal Poised to Crack 50%

October 19, 2007 · 12:00 PM EDT

It ain’t over til it’s over, but Republican Bobby Jindal now appears likely to get at least 50% of the votes cast in Saturday’s Louisiana gubernatorial election. If he does, he will avoid a runoff and be elected governor, taking the office from the Democrats.

Jindal faces a handful of other candidates, including wealthy businessman John Georges (I), wealthy state Senator Walter Boasso (D) and Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell (D), and polls have been mixed about his chances of getting an absolute majority of the vote.

But private polling suggests that Jindal has been improving his standing over the past week, and the Republican’s get-out-the-vote operation appears to be a considerable additional advantage for him.

Turnout remains a huge unknown, and given the large number of candidates and Saturday balloting, anything could happen. But the odds have now improved dramatically that Jindal will attract at least 50% of the vote and win election without a runoff.

Coming on the heels on Jim Ogonowski’s unexpectedly strong showing in the Massachusetts 5 special election, a clear-cut Jindal win would allow Republicans to press their case that the political environment is not as bad as it was for them.

This item first appeared on Political Wire on October 18, 2007.