Fainting spells were reported across the Gret Stet today as rumors of a final decision on the Canal Street John on his entry into the Governor race in 2015. According to the world’s greatest hotel doormat, USA TODAY (we KID!):
Sen. David Vitter says he’ll decide by January whether to run for governor of Louisiana in 2015.
The Republican senator, elected in 2004, told the Associated Press that he’ll send out an e-mail Wednesday to let supporters know of his interest in the 2015 race. Gov. Bobby Jindal, a Republican often mentioned as a potential presidential candidate, cannot run again because of term limits.
“This is the logical time to do it, if I’m ever going to do it,” Vitter told the AP.
Vitter is one of the more popular politicians in Louisiana, with a job-approval rating of over 58% in a recent Southern Media & Opinion Research poll. He has attracted headlines in the past few months for his fight against President Obama’s health care law, saying he wants to make sure that members of Congress and their staffs don’t get special treatment.
Vitter has rebounded from a 2007 scandal in which his phone number was found among a client list of the so-called D.C. Madam. He apologized for what he called a “very serious sin.”
The good news for the Sinator? The whore scandal that would have brought down any human candidate (for the Sinator is not a human, but a cold-blooded reptilian humanoid, of course) is now in the 4th ‘graph of his mini-bio! That’s progress!!
Still, what David Vitter lacks in a pulse, he more than makes up for in his dastardly, almost evil genius-like, ability to concoct crafty, laser-focused political coups against his enemies. In the Game of Thrones that is Louisiana politics, Vitter is the vicious, deadly, and ruthless Little Finger. Scorned by many, with a sordid past, but willing to do what it takes to destroy those in his way.
Recall, as well, that David Vitter has a SuperPAC roving out there. He was a “SPECIAL GUEST” at the latest gator round-up in the spring, and if that’s any indication, he’s already begun to think about 2015 more seriously than he’s letting on. People don’t just go skirting campaign finance laws to raise money for a SuperPAC that purportedly isn’t “supporting David Vitter directly,” but so obviously is unless they have something big in mind.
We postulated all the way back in February that the only candidate we see that can beat the Sinator is Mayor Mitchell Landrieu. We went as far to endorse him and we re-up that endorsement. Mitch Landrieu for Governor, 2015. Period.
Recent polling has been inconclusive. We’re still too far away from the campaign. But Mayor Mitch is definitely a force to be dealt with for the Sinator.
The Landrieu family name might be the best thing Democrats in Louisiana have going for them. Looking ahead to the 2015 race for Governor, Mitch Landrieu has an early lead over both of the high profile Republicans we tested against him in hypothetical match ups. He’s up 45/42 on Senator David Vitter and 45/35 on Lieutenant Governor Jay Dardenne.
Landrieu has very strong statewide favorability numbers- 44% of voters in the state have a favorable opinion of him to just 24% with a negative one. His popularity with Democrats is predictable but even among Republicans he comes close to breaking even with a 30/31 favorability spread. He leads the two GOP hopefuls because like his sister he pulls 20-23% of the Republican vote in the head to heads.
Landrieu has about $1.6m on hand for a walkover Mayoral relection coming this February. We haven’t heard of any real competition, but someone from New Orleans will update on that for sure. If he spends lightly, he’ll be well-positioned to have a top 5 warchest for the 2015 race even before he announces his intentions.
Still, everyone waiting to exhale only has to wait one (!!!!!) more month to hear what the Sinator is going to do. Winter is coming.
More Bob on the next four years.
By Robert Mann
“I advise anyone who thinks he knows something about politics to go down to Louisiana and take a postgraduate course.” –Texas U.S. Sen. Tom Connally, 1932.
If you are obsessed with politics, Louisiana is the place for you – especially over the next four years.
In that time, Louisiana voters will choose a new governor and elect (or re-elect) two U.S. senators. Those elections will probably trigger a flood of competitive races to fill resulting vacancies, as at least one U.S. senator, several U.S. House members and three statewide elected officials may be vacating their seats to run for higher office.
Those races, in turn, would trigger a domino effect of vacancies for lower offices — from the U.S. House all the way down to school board – as other officials scramble to run for the multitude of open seats.
So, with that in mind, here’s the…
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Yes, it is early.
Yes, no one should forget the horrible consequences of letting Bobby Jindal run wild through the next two years. We needn’t look past that to consider the next step. The Governor’s mansion is the most powerful office in the State of Louisiana. The wide-ranging powers emanating from the Capitol’s forth floor control nearly every aspect of Government through direct, or through fiscal, levers. Every Mayor, Police Juror, and Sheriff bow before the all powerful dictates of the Louisiana Governor. By virtue of history and tradition, he controls the legislature, which means he controls the purse. He sets the agenda, constructs the model budget and heavily influences the capital outlay to build new infrastructure for which local officials cut ribbons. Moreover, the Governor makes over 1700 direct appointments to boards and commissions all over the state. These range from the benign to the highly sought-after LSU board or Board of Regents spots.
No one person makes more impact on our daily lives in Louisiana than the Governor. And that’s why the next Governor is so important. We cannot get this one wrong.
Mitch Landrieu is the Democrats best hope to be Governor in 2015.
With all due respect to Rep. John Bel Edwards, we don’t see another viable candidate. By all accounts, his reign as Mayor of New Orleans has been spectacularly successful. If you’ve visited the city recently like we have, you’ll note it is alight with improvements. Mitch continues to be very popular to a broad swath of New Orleanians as well.
More importantly, we know Mitch Landrieu has already shown he can be a fundraising powerhouse. According to the Times-Picayune, Mitch has raised over $1.6m since he won the New Orleans Mayor’s race in 2010. Let’s see how he compares to other statewide potentials:
|Campaign finance reports for 2012|
|Gov. Bobby Jindal||$1,301,483.46||$1,420,185.06||$3,793,100.76|
|Treasurer John Kennedy||$579,503.14||$151,688.66||$2,333,570.49|
|New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu||$756,102.78||$259,517.73||$1,009,716.04|
|Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne||$831,325.56||$161,278.52||$717,825.45|
|Attorney General Buddy Caldwell||$17,410.01||$68,939.71||$406,557.48|
|Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain||$351,606.92||$116,180.01||$235,426.91|
(from the Times-Picayune)
As we can see here, there’s only one official that is eligible to run for Governor in 2015 that has more money on hand than Mitch Landrieu. That’s Treasurer John Kennedy, who Mitch’s sister Mary spanked in the 2008 US Senate race.
So, we know that Mitch Landrieu is well-financed, how does he look electorally against statewide foes?
Back in 2007, Mitch was running for reelection for Lt. Governor, the State’s cultural ambassador and leader of the office of Culture, Recreation and Tourism. Here are those results:
|Lieutenant Governor 2007
All 3967 precincts reporting
Click here for Results by Parish
|Gary J. Beard (R)||10.55%||130876|
|Norris “Spanky” Gros, Jr. (N)||1.29%||15965|
|Thomas D. Kates (N)||1.25%||15555|
|“Sammy” Kershaw (R)||30.30%||375727|
|“Mitch” Landrieu (D)||56.60%||701887|
Country music star Sammy Kershaw couldn’t keep Mitch from winning in the primary, with 701887 votes. Hmm, how many votes did the multi-million dollar campaign of Bobby Jindal garner that year in the primary?
|“Bobby” Jindal (R)||53.88%||699275|
Sure, it’s not apples to apples. But the simple fact that Democrat Mitch Landrieu won 2000 more votes than the political “rising star” Bobby Jindal earned is sizable. Remember, Jindal was seen as less of a partisan figure back then, and many Democrats considered his candidacy a page-turner. Jindal was considered an “ethics champ” with pragmatic, technocratic governing philosophies focused on results. Of course, from day 1, he largely abandoned this philosophy and became a screeching partisan conservative focused only on his ambition for even higher office. Under these circumstances, the fact that Mitch Landrieu still roughly equaled Jindal despite his party “disadvantage” and the moribund status of the Democratic Party in 2007 (not to mention the still persistent Katrina displacement of African-American voters in the Landrieu’s New Orleans stronghold) means one very clear thing: Mitch Landrieu has continued to maintain a strong statewide popularity that makes him extremely competitive in ways that other Democrats are not.
Flash-forward to today. Let’s go to the polling! From PPP earlier this month:
Louisiana could have a fun race for Governor in 2015. New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu is seen pretty positively statewide, with 49% of voters rating him favorably to 26% with an unfavorable opinion. In a hypothetical contest with Senator David Vitter, who has a 46/38 approval rating, the two would be tied at 44%. Landrieu would have a slight edge over Lieutenant Governor Jay Dardenne at 44-42. If Landrieu decided to run it appears that it would be a competitive race.
Well then. Let’s review. That’s Vitter 44%, Landrieu 44%. Before the campaigns. Considering how Red Louisiana has become (although it might be trending in the other direction). Even Vitter’s own polling firm can’t soup the numbers to make Mitch noncompetitive:
The Magellan poll, conducted Oct. 2 through Oct. 4 with 2,682 likely voters covered a number of topics, including presidential, congressional and gubernatorial elections. The margin of error is 1.9 percent… 31.1% picked Vitter; 29.4% picked Landrieu; and 16.7 percent were undecided or wanted none of the choices.
Two ties. Looks very interesting, doesn’t it?
Once the natural disaster that is the Jindal Administration is done rolling through, we’ll need a thorough cleansing, followed by a long slog to attempt to repair the Jindal-sized crater we’ll be situated in. From what we understand, this sounds eerily like the situation Mayor Landrieu found when he arrived in New Orleans in 2010. Like Ray Nagin before him, Bobby Jindal will have served two terms full of promised-reform and certified-incompetence. Another clean up job for Mitch. But one voters seem at least willing to consider handing over to New Orleans’ Mayor.