Scott Jordan

Gingrich: Louisiana election a precursor to potential Republican disaster

Last Saturday’s special congressional election to replace retired Republican Congressman Richard Baker of Baton Rouge has national Republicans bracing for potentially brutal losses in the November elections. Louisiana’s Sixth District is solid red conservative territory, and the GOP’s held the seat since 1975. Not anymore, as Democrat Don Cazayoux defeated Republican Woody Jenkins by a 49-46 percent margin, despite the national GOP spending more than $1 million in the race. Cazayoux will have to defend the seat again in November’s election, but GOP “Contract with America” architect Newt Gingrich sees the Sixth District Race as an ominous bellwether for the national Republican Party.

“The Anti-Obama, Anti-Wright, and Anti-Clinton GOP model has been tested — and it failed,” Gingrich writes in a commentary titled “My Plea to Republicans: It’s Time for Real Change to Avoid Real Disaster.” Gingrich believes that Cazayoux’s victory, along with the GOP’s loss of former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert’s seat in Illinois, validates “a national polling pattern that is bad news for Republicans. According to a New York Times/CBS Poll, Americans disapprove of the President’s job performance by 63 to 28 (and he has been below 40 percent job approval since December 2006, the longest such period for any president in the history of polling). A separate New York Times/CBS Poll shows that a full 81 percent of Americans believe the economy is on the wrong track,” notes Gingrich. “The current generic ballot for Congress according to the NY Times/CBS poll is 50 to 32 in favor of the Democrats. That is an 18-point margin, reminiscent of the depths of the Watergate disaster.”

Read the full column, and Gingrich’s “Nine Acts of Real Change to Restore the GOP Brand,” here .