The GOP just keeps churning ’em out: Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal will announce today that he’s running for President of the United States.
We know that because he said so on his website, although that somehow isn’t the actual announcement itself, which is scheduled for later this afternoon. Much like a space traveler approaching a black hole, presidential candidacy announcements seem to suffer from a curious time dilation effect, wherein what would normally be a single event is stretched apart into multiple points. It’s all that concentrated gravitas, I guess.
What a relief that another candidate has emerged. Here it is on the very eve of the election, June 2015, and GOP primary voters have thus far only had Bush, Cruz, Paul, Rubio, Walker, Huckabee, Carson, Fiorina, Trump, Santorum, Pataki, Graham, Kasich, Perry, and Christie to choose from.
FiveThirtyEight says Jindal should have ran in 2012 rather than 2016 — in part because the field was so much less crowded then, but also because the Louisiana governor’s approval ratings have tanked in the intervening years. Perhaps that’s what happens when you nudge your state’s flagship university towards bankruptcy:
Four years ago, we might have had reason to think that increased exposure would significantly improve his chances: The Republicans who knew Jindal best — Louisiana Republicans — really liked him. In a 2010 Public Policy Polling survey of Louisiana Republicans, Jindal earned 44 percent of the vote and led his nearest competitor by 29 percentage points in a hypothetical Republican presidential primary. By June 2014, he had fallen to 12 percent and fourth place in Louisiana. No one has ever won a major party nomination when polling below 25 percent with voters in their own state at this point in the campaign.
Indeed, Jindal has managed to perturb many former allies in Louisiana, thanks to budget slashes and shortfalls. He has a Martin O’Malley problem: Jindal is unpopular at home. His approval rating among Louisiana Republicans is just 54 percent, down 25 percentage points from 2012.