The latest poll from Public Policy Polling shows that the Governor has an approval rating of only 37%, which is among the lowest in the nation. He has lost support with both Republicans and Democrats. The poll indicates that Jindal’s support with Republican voters has dropped from 81% to 59% in the past two years. With Democratic voters, Jindal’s disapproval numbers have skyrocketed to 78%.
The Governor’s overall approval rating is a drop of over 20 percentage points from Public Policy’s last poll. This is now the second poll in recent days to show Jindal with an approval rating below 50%. It has been a quick fall from grace for Jindal who in November of 2011 won re-election to the governor’s office with a solid 66% of the vote.
In the past 18 months, the Governor has embarked on a controversial education reform plan, has decided not to expand the Medicaid program in the state and is trying to push a new tax initiative that would eliminate income taxes in exchange for an increase in sales taxes.
Another important factor in his plunging popularity is the Governor’s constant travel schedule. Last year, he visited all corners of the country in support of Mitt Romney. Interestingly, Jindal showed no loyalty to Romney for right after the GOP loss; he started blasting the Republicans as the “stupid party.”
Today, he is still on a healthy travel schedule as Chairman of the Republican Governor’s Association. Most political observers believe that Jindal is trying to lay the groundwork to run for President in 2016.
While Jindal’s national ambitions might be exciting to GOP pundits in the Beltway, it is clearly causing him problems on the home front. Louisiana voters want action on a variety of problems in the Pelican state. They want to see Jindal earn his salary as Governor and not use the state as a stepping stone for a presidential campaign.
Usually, a presidential candidate has to have a strong base in his home state to qualify as a serious contender. In this regard, Jindal has major trouble for the new Public Policy poll shows that the Governor would lose a hypothetical presidential match-up 48-45% against liberal Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Louisiana is a red state and no Democrat has won the state’s presidential electoral votes since Bill Clinton in 1996. Louisiana has a congressional delegation with only two Democrats and the legislature recently gained a Republican majority for the first time since Reconstruction. Any GOP presidential candidate should easily win Louisiana. In fact, if the Republicans can’t win Louisiana, they have no chance of winning the White House.
Jindal should take this latest poll as a reality check. He is not presidential material and clearly has significant troubles in his home state. If he starts to focus on Louisiana for the last three years of his term, he might be able to accomplish a decent legacy as Governor.
Otherwise, his unabashed ambitions will start to harm Jindal’s ability to pass his agenda in the state legislature. Legislators will be emboldened to challenge a Governor that is becoming quite unpopular.
The more time he focuses on his presidential ambitions, the more unpopular he becomes in Louisiana.
It is time that Jindal gave up his ridiculous White House obsession and start to focus on the very challenging set of problems he was elected to solve.
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