In an interview with the Sioux City Journal, the chairman of the Iowa GOP provided a bit of insight into why Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal remains in the presidential race despite low polling.
Speaking in general about the Iowa caucuses and not specifically about Jindal, Iowa Republican Party Chairman Jeff Kaufmann said he predicts the race to win Iowa will break late because many Iowans remain undecided or still have a handful of favorites.
“Iowa is wide open,” he told the paper, adding that Republicans there tend to prefer outsiders but also appreciate executive office experience.
Jindal has heavily played up both themes, highlighting his experience as governor and frequently blasting Congress and the “D.C. establishment.” Given Kaufmann’s comments, that could work to his advantage.
The Iowa caucuses are scheduled for Feb. 1.
Jindal has made Iowa central to his campaign strategy. He’s held more than 100 campaign events in the past two months and has a full schedule there this weekend. He plans to visit every one of the state’s 99 counties. And he has seen some growth there.
But people, particularly his detractors in Louisiana and some in the media, have frequently pointed to his low polling and wondered when he would get out of the race — especially after Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry dropped their bids.
Jindal’s campaign struck back at a recent Politico piece quoting unnamed “insiders” who speculated Jindal and former New York Gov. George Pataki would be the next to jump ship. Jindal’s team signaled he had no intentions of leaving the race soon.
“It seems like these ‘insiders’ need some adjustment in their prediction methods,” Jindal’s campaign shot back at the time.
Kaufmann’s suggestion that the state is still very much in play is likely just what the Jindal campaign is betting on.