Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is so unpopular right now that he currently polls lower than Obama in a state where nearly 60 percent of voters went for Romney in the last presidential election. The president has an approval rating of 43 percent in Louisiana, five points higher than Jindal’s low approval rating of just 38 percent.
A statewide poll by Southern Media Opinion & Research shows that Louisiana voters are frustrated with budget cuts made to higher education and health care under Jindal. The public does not approve of a plan to privatize the charity hospital system, and most Louisianans are not fans of the governor’s proposed state tax overhaul.
Jindal’s popularity has plummeted from a more comfortable approval rating of 51 percent back in October. On the positive side, things seem to have bottomed out. A poll by Public Policy Polling showed Jindal with a 37 percent approval rating back in February.
Only 27 percent of voters support Jindal’s plan to abolish personal and corporate income taxes, and only 33 percent support even the idea of further budget cuts. 80 percent of voters feel the state government should not think of making further cuts to higher education and health care. The message is clear: enough is enough.
Roughly half of respondents said they experienced hardship as a result of budget cuts. Louisiana has a large number of low-income families. Budget cuts have scrapped or risked the jobs of state employees, hospital workers, and campus faculty and staff.
Jindal was elected governor of Louisiana in 2007 and gave the response to Obama’s State of the Union address in February 2009. He previously served two terms in the US House of Representatives from 2005 until 2008. He was the just the second Indian American to serve in Congress and is the first Indian American to serve as a Governor. The second Indian American governor is fellow Republican Nikki Haley.
Jindal is considered one of the possible Republican presidential contenders in 2016, but these latest poll numbers do not speak well for his chances. Then again, only 32 percent of Massachusetts voters felt Romney should be granted a second term as governor when he left office, and he managed to gain his party’s presidential nomination. Jindal, like Florida Governor Rick Scott, may have a low approval rating, but he maintains the support of his conservative base. Jindal may poll lower than Obama among general Louisiana voters right now, but that does not mean a liberal candidate stands a better chance of winning the state come 2016.