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Blanco in early lead over Bobby

By Our Correspondent in New Orleans
November 16, 2003 08:40 IST
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Though the mood remains upbeat in the ballroom of the Astro Crowne Plaza Hotel, on Bourbon Street in the French Quarter of New Orleans, where Bobby Jindal, his wife, the couple's parents, friends and supporters are camped, the trends seem discouraging.

While the parish breakdown is not yet in, word here is that Democrat Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, leading her Republican rival Jindal at the halfway stage of counting, has managed to make inroads even in the North West Louisiana region where Jindal was considered strongest.

There are over 500 people thronging the Astro Crowne Plaza ballroom, of whom at least 1/4th are Indian-Americans. And that contingent from Jindal's community is not an unmixed blessing; through the last days of the campaigning, Jindal's campaign committee has been somewhat worried about the perception that his camp is taking an Indian coloration.

While Jindal himself has no qualms about his Indian-American heritage (his family emigrated in the 1970s, Jindal himself was born six months after his parents reached Baton Rouge), his campaign feared that local TV stations might tend to focus on that, and inadvertently upset the conservative white voters who form the Republican core.


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Our Correspondent in New Orleans