Nov. 19, 2015 — Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal became the third Republican casualty of this 2016 presidential contest by suspending his campaign Tuesday. He joins Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) and ex-Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) on the GOP political sidelines. Former Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) and ex-Gov. Lincoln Chafee (D-RI) have already exited stage left for the Democrats.
Gov. Jindal was hoping to make major inroads in Iowa, notching a respectable score there in the Feb. 1 Caucus vote, which theoretically could give him the momentum to become a top-tier candidate. But, his objective simply wasn’t coming to fruition. Though the governor was making some progress in Iowa – at least one poll had him as high as six percent – it was clear that his effort was falling short of what he needed to continue.
Therefore, 14 candidates remain, still the largest of all past Republican presidential fields. The Jindal exit won’t much change the flow of the campaign because he was not a factor anywhere but arguably Iowa. Never making the primetime debate, and his sagging popularity in his home state where even the Republican nominee to succeed him, Sen. David Vitter, is attempting to tie Democrat John Bel Edwards to his faltering Administration combined to place him in an untenable position for the national race. Hence, the obstacles proved too large for him to become viable.
We may be getting closer to a final congressional map in Virginia. As you will remember, a three-judge federal panel, back in June, struck down Virginia’s 3rd Congressional District (Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Newport News) because of what the jurists cited as racial gerrymandering.
Yesterday, the appointed special master, University of California at Irvine professor Bernard Grofman, returned two proposed remedies to the court. The gist of the changes drive the Scott district down below 50 percent African American composition but leaves his new 3rd District as a safely Democratic seat.
The member most affected, to the point of losing his seat, will be Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA-4) if these recommendations are adopted. The new 4th District will assume the Richmond portions of current District 3 that will make what is now a Republican CD into a decidedly Democratic domain.
Rep. Scott Rigell (R-VA-2) would see his Virginia Beach-anchored district move further up the Peninsula to include the city of Williamsburg. Rep. Rob Wittman (R-VA-1) would lose the Williamsburg area to Rigell, and take in territory that would bring him into the Richmond border communities. Though political numbers were not yet released for these latter districts, it is presumed that both CDs would remain in the current incumbents’ hands.
If these changes move forward and are adopted in time for the 2016 election, it is a virtual guarantee that the Virginia delegation party division would move from 8R