Bobby Jindal Is Not a Popular Guy

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Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal.

If you are a governor with presidential ambitions, it helps to be popular in your state. Few politicians have managed to win higher offices—much less the presidency—without building a good reputation with their constituents. Which is why Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal should be worried about this new poll, that shows him with a 38 percent approval rating among the state’s voters. Sixty percent disapprove.

According to the survey, conducted by Southern Media & Opinion Research, Jindal’s falling approval ratings are a function of his tax plan, which would end corporate and income taxes while raising sales taxes and other fees, burdening lower-income Louisianans in order to fund large tax cuts their upper-income counterparts. Overall, 63 percent opposed the plan to abolish personal and corporate income taxes and raise state sales taxes, while only 27 percent supported it. Likewise, 60 percent opposed further spending cuts to public services, and 47 percent say that the current cuts have hurt them or their families.

It seems there’s little in Jindal’s administration that has the support of Louisiana voters. Indeed, at this point, the governor of one of the country’s reddest states is less popular than Barack Obama—at 43 percent approval, he edges out Jindal by five percentage points.

None of this is to say that Jindal can’t win a Republican presidential nomination. But he’s not making it easy for himself. If his popularity continues to fall, however, there’s a good chance he’ll join the long list of potential presidential contenders who declined to run when the time was ripe—choosing instead, to wait, as Jindal did for 2012—and never found the success they hoped for.