After hovering over the freezing point in numerous polls over the past year, his popularity is now at slightly less than fifty percent, according to a recent SMOR poll. That is nine percentage points better than in the previous SMOR poll one year ago.
As a result, Jindal can continue to prance around the country on his Presidential cruise, but now without the heavy negative-poll albatross around his neck. He can now say that he has a right to be a legitimate Presidential candidate because two-thirds of the state no longer disapprove of his job performance. He is now almost in good grace, enough even to run for Pope, given his sudden infusion of religion into his politics as of late.
Well, not so fast, Bobby-boy.
Comparing the SMOR poll released yesterday with other recent polls including the April 2013 SMOR poll, one could argue that we are comparing apples and oranges.
The 2014 and the fall SMOR polls surveyed “likely voters.”
Throughout the nation and particularly in Louisiana, a Republican bastion, polls of “likely voters” favor Republicans because they survey voters who have a history of voting instead of “voters,” a broader group of the population. The “voters” group normally includes a higher population of African Americans.
In the November 2013 SMOR poll, Jindal’s approval numbers of “likely voters” were 42%, four points better than they were compared to his April 2013 SMOR poll, which was based on telephone interviews conducted March 18-20 with 600 “randomly selected” Louisiana voters.
Jindal is not running for statewide office, and is term limited, so while the recent poll is theoretically useful in that it gives us a snapshot as to how “likely voters” feel today, the poll does not survey the same general audience (voters) as did the April 2014 The New York Times/Kaiser Family Foundation poll.
In that poll, only 40 percent approved of Bobby Jindal’s job. According to the Gambit, that poll found an identical percentage of Louisianans approve and disapprove of Gov. Bobby Jindal and President Barack Obama's performances in office. Of the respondents, 40 percent approved and 54 percent disapproved of the way Obama and Jindal are handling their respective jobs.
The poll was conducted April 8-15 and surveyed 1,075 Louisianans, of whom 946 identified themselves as registered voters.
Yet, there’s no good reason to dismiss a poll, as they all have value. For one, this poll just might corroborate the spin from Jindal’s voicemeister. According to the Advocate, in responding to the April 2013 SMOR and other polls, Michelle Milhollon wrote: “The governor’s political adviser, Timmy Teepell, attributed Jindal’s low approval rating to him tackling challenges. ‘It’s easy to be popular, just run around and kiss babies and spend taxpayer money. But that’s not this governor’s objective. He wants to see Louisiana become the best state in the country for job creation, for good paying jobs and careers,’ Teepell said.”
Last spring, Jindal tried to do some heavy lifting, like privatizing healthcare and ridding Louisiana of the state income tax.
This special session, his legislative agenda has been barren, allowing him to travel the country, making pit-stops preaching religion at Liberty University and at Reagan Library, as well as handing out awards to the state’s favorite bigot, Daddy Duck Dynasty.
So, is Jindal on the road back to recovery?
Perhaps he is, and then maybe not.
His healthcare plan has been rejected by the feds, leaving many medical providers, legislators and prospective patients wondering whether the state will shutter more medical facilities than one could ever imagine.
Many prognosticators, even his allies, are fearful that the real money crush will take place as Jindal is ready to pack his bags to leave for Washington DC, sometime in 2015 or early 2016.
Still, Jindal can breathe a little deeper today because he (and we) know that the national media will not pick up on these nuances, but only on the overarching story of his “remarkable rebound” or continue to publish his blasts against national Democratic figures, like Obama and Hillary Clinton.
After all, you can bet that this is the story his PR machine will be feeding Politico, Wall Street Journal and the National Review as they continue to offer Jindal an open forum for his self-promotional puff pieces for his journal, “My White House Crusade.”