Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal lost a golden opportunity to run for president in 2012 and faces a much tougher task this election cycle for several key reasons, according to a FiveThirtyEight analysis.
Some of those key reasons?
• There was less competition in 2012 (think Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry and Rick Santorum).
• Jindal has little new to offer.
• Jindal’s ideological space is already occupied.
The polling numbers, as The Advocate has reported, aren’t in Jindal’s favor at this point either. He ranks 15th among GOP contenders now, at 1 percent in polls of Republicans nationwide, according to the Real Clear Politics average of surveys conducted from May 19 to June 14.
His lack of recognition and popularity among voters, as FiveThirtyEight points out, could also damage his ability to improve those ratings through debates.
In fact, polling metrics gained potentially enormous importance for Jindal and his quest when Fox News and CNN announced last month that polling results will determine which candidates appear in the first nationally televised debates of the campaign this summer. Those debates will take place months ahead of what’s been the traditional start to the culling process for the nomination — the Iowa caucuses on Feb. 1 and the New Hampshire primary on Feb. 9.
With 15 or more Republicans expected to run, the networks will winnow the ranks to make the debates manageable.
The Fox News event in Cleveland will include those candidates who rank in the top 10 in an average of the five most recent national polls before the Aug. 6 debate. CNN will base its selection of eight to 10 participants for its top-tier debate, in Southern California on Sept. 16, on the results of national polls released from July 16 to Sept. 10. In both cases, the networks will provide some additional air time for the also-rans.
If the debates were held today under equivalent criteria, Jindal would not qualify for either of the main events, based on his standing in the polls.
“When you put it all together, it’s unclear why Jindal is running,” the report said. “He has little shot of winning, and other candidates are articulating his ideological views.