Commentary: Why there's been a lack of challengers in statewide races

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wwltv.com

Posted on September 13, 2011 at 6:35 PM

Updated Tuesday, Sep 13 at 11:04 PM

The Oct. 22 statewide ballot is looking kind of thin, thanks to a lack of challengers to many incumbents. Explaining why is the topic of Clancy’s Commentary this week, by Eyewitness News Political Analyst and Gambit columnist Clancy DuBos.

Clancy DuBos / Eyewitness News Political Analyst

In 1970 somebody made a film called, “Suppose They Gave A War and Nobody Came.”

This year, they could do sequel in Louisiana — Suppose they held an election and nobody ran?

A huge number of incumbents have been re-elected without opposition this year. I think there are several reasons why.

First, Gov. Bobby Jindal remains very popular. Our economy might not be booming, but it’s doing much better here than in most other states. Overall, most voters believe Louisiana is moving in the right direction.

And when voters are satisfied, it discourages challengers. That applies not only to Jindal but also to legislators and others down the ballot.

Then there’s the economy. Louisiana may not be down in the dumps, but we’re not rolling in dough, either. Money’s still tight, especially in politics. That, too, discourages challengers.

Finally, it takes two to tango. Two political parties, that is. And right now, Louisiana looks like a one-party state. All seven statewide elected officials are Republicans, and no major Democrat is running against any of them.

Louisiana’s political waters are indeed calm this year. Time will tell if it’s the calm before the storm.

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