Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal seemed to be the light at the end of the GOP’s dark, bleak tunnel after devastating losses in 2012. Jindal slammed the GOP for being the “stupid party” for which he received immense praise from both sides of the aisle. Jindal stood alongside Chris Christie, Rick Scott, and Scott Walker as one of the most popular Republican Governors. Bobby Jindal, the GOP stud. But, his approval ratings beg to differ.
Last October, Gov. Jindal enjoyed a 51% approval rating where a recent survey gave Jindal at a measly 38%. But, lucky for Jindal, it is doubtful that his brand will be heavily tarnished by the handful of resonant decisions he has made to anger his constituents.
The latest Southern Media & Opinion Research (SMOR) Poll highlights key issues setting Jindal at odds with his voters. To the likes of Grover Norquist and many other anti-tax politicos, Jindal recently proposed his plan to do away with Louisiana’s income tax. But, Jindal’s attack on state income tax was not as well received as he thought it would be, with a pathetic 27% supporting the idea. In order to avoid hurting the poor, Jindal’s proposal includes a rebate for low-income residents and retirees.
His staunch advocacy for budget cuts across the board is seen as hazardous and especially unpopular in regards to his proposed cuts to health care and education spending in the state. Critics of Jindal’s plan claim it will do more harm than good for the economy of Louisiana. But, while some believe Jindal’s ideological ways are distancing him from his constituents; others believe it is a mere speed bump. After a vast backlash from the public, Jindal retracted his plan to scrap the income tax and is back at the drawing board.
As for Jindal’s performance as a shining star of the GOP, his failed proposal is a drop in the GOP’s bucket. Many attempts to hack away at taxes have been overlooked by the majority of the Party.
As for the future of Jindal and the GOP, Jindal remains as one of the most stable frontrunners for the party. His unwavering, principled conservatism has set a significant precedent for those looking to put themselves on the 2016 ticket. That being said, 21st century politics move fast. As for broader trends, Jindal’s loss of support back home is an interesting parallel to that of Gov. Chris Christie. Christie, an equally principled conservative, understands that reaching across the aisle is necessary in order to get critical proposals through Congress. Christie’s dedication to improving conditions for his constituents amidst the disastrous Hurricane Sandy are portrayed in his impressive approval ratings. Meanwhile, Jindal has been vilified back home while taking on a more national presence.