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Jindal lacks black support: NYT

Last updated on: October 13, 2003 22:29 IST
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Piyush 'Bobby' Jindal's bid to become the first Indian American governor of a  US state may be constrained by the lack of support from Louisana's black community, says The New York Times.

In a Sunday op-ed titled 'A New Kind of Minority Is Challenging Louisiana's Racial Conventions,' Adam Cohen pointed out there were very few blacks at the Astor Crowne Plaza in the French Quarter of New Orleans last weekend to celebrate Jindal's first-round win in this year's governor's race.

"One black legislator dismissed Mr Jindal's candidacy early on, calling him, according to The Associated Press, 'too dark for the white folks, and not dark enough for the blacks.' But that was wrong. It certainly seemed possible Mr  Jindal would be too dark' for Louisiana whites, a majority of whom backed Mr Duke in his run for Senator and governor in the early 1990's. But Mr Jindal, who has been embraced by the religious right, apparently won upward of 40 per cent of the white vote last week,"  said the Times.

"Nor was Mr Jindal 'not dark enough' for blacks. Whites like Senator Mary Landrieu have racked up as much as 96 per cent of the black vote. Mr Jindal's problem, and the reason his pioneering candidacy attracted only a handful of black votes last weekend, is his stand on the issues, and the fact that in a campaign filled with 18-point programs, he has scarcely addressed the special problems of Louisiana blacks."

The article argued that Jindal's ethnicity, "which has drawn little attention so far, could be a factor in the runoff. In last weekend's crowded field, Democratic candidates won 57 per cent of the vote. To win, Ms Blanco needs only to hold on to that base. But Mr Jindal has to hunt for new support. He has made modest efforts to woo blacks but is unlikely to get far. To win, he will need overwhelming white support. If even a small percentage of white conservatives hold his ethnicity against him, it could cost him the election."

Complete Coverage: Bobby Jindal's bid for Governor


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