Gov. Bobby Jindal is outpacing both former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina in a newly released poll from Iowa, thus besting two presidential candidates whose national poll numbers have landed them in the Republicans’ charmed circle of prime-time TV debaters that so far has eluded Jindal.
The Public Policy Polling survey, conducted from Oct. 30 to Nov. 1, puts Jindal’s support at 6 percent, tied for fifth and a point ahead of both Bush and Fiorina. The margin of error is 3.9 percent.
Iowa hosts the Feb. 1 caucuses that launch the Republican nomination process. Jindal has spent more time in Iowa than all but one other candidate, and his supporters have shelled out millions on TV ads promoting him.
Jindal has been ticking up a bit in recent Iowa polls, although a Monmouth University poll, taken Oct. 22-25, pegged his support at 2 percent, in a three-way tie for eighth and trailing both Bush and Fiorina. The Real Clear Politics average of six recent Iowa polls has him alone in eighth place, with 3.3 percent.
His national polling average at RCP, though, is 0.6 percent, ranking him 12th in the large Republican field. Those are the kind of results that have relegated him to the not-ready-for-prime-time early debate of the also-rans in the three debate programs televised nationally so far.
The next debate program is Nov. 10, on Fox Business News, and barring a dramatic upsurge, Jindal seems destined for the kids’ table once again.
His supporters have argued the Iowa polls should count for more in the debate seedings. Representatives of the Jindal campaign met with their counterparts from several other campaigns Sunday to discuss their grievances about the debates, although reports of the meeting did not suggest a consensus around scrapping the two-tier system — and in any case, any changes likely would not affect the upcoming debate. One of the leading candidates in the polls, billionaire real-estate developer and reality TV celebrity Donald Trump, has rejected the idea of an expanded prime-time lineup and his campaign has said it will negotiate with debate presenters on its own.