Unless Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal picks up some popularity points in the next couple of months, he’s unlikely to find himself on stage debating the top-tier candidates for the GOP’s presidential nomination this fall.
Jindal hasn’t formally announced himself as a candidate, but all signs seem to be pointing to an announcement next month that he’ll go after the GOP nomination.
After months of traveling across the country to highlight his conservative credentials, Jindal, 43, launched an exploratory committee for president on Monday and an ad highlighting his conservative Christian values in Iowa on Tuesday.
His presidential exploratory committee also sent out invitations to a fundraiser and reception that will be held in Baton Rouge on June 27. The RSVP deadlines for both are just a week after the legislative session ends June 11. Jindal has said he’ll announce his intentions after session ends.
On Wednesday, Fox News announced that it will allow 10 candidates on stage for the first debate, slated for Aug. 6 in Ohio. The 10 will be the top 10 qualified candidates, based on an average of the five most recent, recognized national polls leading up to Aug. 4. If there is a tie, the slate could expand beyond 10, according to Fox News.
Based on the most recent polling data, Jindal is trailing in the polls and falls just outside the 10-candidate cut-off. RealClearPolitics.com places Jindal in about the 13th place, based on polling averages, and he hasn’t yet picked up much steam.
Meanwhile, marquee Republicans like former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky appear to be shoe-ins, based on the most current rankings.
According to a statement from Fox News, candidates who do not place in the top 10 will be provided additional coverage and air time, so there’s still hope for Jindal to get some time on the network during debate week.
As for CNN, the network’s Sept. 16 debate will be divided into two parts that feature two separate groups of candidates -- the frontrunners and the also-runners. Again, CNN is relying on polling data to pick its top 10. The other group will include candidates who average above 1 percent in public polling, but don’t make the top 10 cutoff. By that estimation, Jindal could make it to the second debate tier. His average polling, based on the RCP average, is about 1.3 percent.