Political Scientists Weigh in on How They Think Jindal will do in Office

Political scientists are already weighing in on how they think Jindal will do in office. They point out that Jindal's enormous 54% margin makes him the first non-incumbent governor ever to win election without a runoff. WAFB Capital Correspondent Caroline Moses has more.

Some question whether Governor-elect Bobby Jindal will be able to work with a likely Democratic legislature. Political analysts say Jindal's special session on ethics reform will be the real test. They say if he's successful in passing ethics laws, he'll be successful uniting the legislature on other issues. LSU political science professor Dr. Wayne Parent says, "He's going to be somewhat partisan. He's got to be." Jindal claims he'll work with both parties, but Parent is not so sure that's realistic. Parent says, "We haven't had anyone like this before. He's new and didn't talk to the press very much."

Jindal is currently a U.S. congressman. He worked in the Foster administration and as head of the Department of Health and Hospitals. Parent says, "So he knows a lot of these people, but that's the big question mark." Can Jindal garner support from both Republicans and Democrats? A congressional tracking service, gov-track.us, classifies him as a rank-and-file Republican, but will that change? Parent says, "He's going to call a special session on ethics, let's see how he does." He says the ethics fight is like a training ground for his effectiveness in office. He says voters are looking to Jindal to correct corruption and to fix mistakes made during Hurricane Katrina. Parent says, "The conservative blogs have him in the White House already in 2012."

Parent says the Senate is already all but guaranteed to stay Democratic. He says, "The House may become Republican for the first time in Louisiana history. That has to do with the state becoming slightly more Republican." Parent says a Republican House is possible, but not likely. It's a situation that could leave Bobby Jindal on the other side, somewhere he's been before. Parent says, "I think he worked hard to become familiar all over the state and make sure ethnicity is not an issue." Parent says Jindal pulled off an "earth-shattering victory" because he was already a known candidate, having run for governor four years ago. He says another reason Jindal won was the low number of African American voters who went out to the polls.