Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal might skip the next GOP debate if the rules aren’t altered to get him onto the main stage.
Jindal’s advisers have spent the past several weeks arguing that Oct. 28 debate criteria should factor in early voting states, like Iowa and New Hampshire.
“A national survey is predictive of nothing except name ID at this point in the process,” Jindal chief strategist Curt Anderson told The Advocate and other media outlets on a recent conference call.
Now, The Washington Examiner reports that Jindal’s campaign is going a step further to threaten to pull out from the earlier “undercard” debate.
“If you use the criteria that CNBC used four years ago for this debate, Jindal would be on the [prime time] stage,” Jindal campaign manager Timmy Teepell told The Examiner, echoing comments he previously made about the criteria. “We are hopeful they don’t exclude us.”
According to CNBC’s rules, to appear in the later debate at 7 p.m., a candidate must average at least 2.5 percent in NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox, CNN and Bloomberg polls conducted from Sept. 17 to Oct. 21. Jindal has been polling at or below 1 percent in those recent national polls, so he would only qualify for the earlier 5 p.m. undercard debate.
During an appearance on Fox News Monday night, Jindal again stressed his strength in Iowa.
“We’re building momentum,” he said. “We’re going to win in Iowa in the first week of February.”
The Iowa caucuses take place Feb. 1.
Jindal is averaging 4 percent in Iowa, but has gone as high as 6 percent in recent polls.
Jindal is scheduled to travel to Israel later this month with the Family Research Council, but his campaign has said he won’t make the full 10-day trip. He has events scheduled in Iowa on Oct. 29, Oct. 31 and Nov. 7.