As of today, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has formally announced his intention to seek the Republican nomination in 2016. Jindal enters the race with considerable challenges ahead given the state of his current poll numbers both in the Republican field, and his favorability back home.
Report from MSNBC:
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal will declare his candidacy for president here on Wednesday, making him the 13th Republican to get into the race.
“We get into the race at 5 o’clock tonight,” adviser Curt Anderson told reporters at a morning briefing. Shortly afterward, Jindal tweeted the news and a hidden-camera style video of the governor telling his kids about his decision to run. His daughter quickly leveraged the information, requesting a puppy as her share of the deal.
“OK, if we move into the White House, you can have a puppy,” Jindal told his daughter.
The announcement has been a long time coming – the governor has spent years injecting himself into the national conversation on everything from terrorism in the Middle East to education – and according to p2016.org, he’s already spent more than two weeks in Iowa campaigning.
He barely registers on national polls, but his campaign told reporters that they’re not worried about him and that he’s won tough primaries before.
Jindal will have a tough time, and unless his poll numbers improve, he’ll be shut out of the “top tier” debate stage in the first two GOP primary debates. Jindal assumed the Governorship in Louisiana amid high favorability and talk of a 2012 presidential run. Since that time, he’s went through numerous problems during his tenure including the current budget issues facing the state.
Over at FiveThirtyEight, they’re making the case that Jindal would have been a great candidate in 2012, but not so much in 2016:
Imagine, if you will, that a young Republican governor of a Southern state is thinking about running for president. He’s wildly popular at home — on his way to winning re-election with 66 percent of the vote. He’s Indian-American in a party that desperately wants to reach out to nonwhite voters. He’s got rock-solid conservative credentials, and he would be entering a historically weak primary field.
But he doesn’t pull the trigger.
Four years later, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is unpopular in his home state. He’s trailing Democrat Hillary Clinton there in a hypothetical 2016 matchup (Mitt Romney won the state by 17 percentage points in 2012). Jindal plans to officially enter the Republican primary today, but this year, he hasn’t polled higher than 2 percent nationally, 2 percent in any Iowa caucus survey or 3 percent in any New Hampshire primary poll.
Jindal’s story is very similar to Chris Christie in terms of timing, and falling popularity in their respective home states.