Jindal faces uphill trudge in NH

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Gov. Bobby Jindal will be back in Louisiana briefly next week to address the opening session of the state Legislature on Monday, after which he will jet off to New Hampshire, where he continues his delusional bid for the GOP presidential (or vice presidential) nomination in 2016. The latest poll of New Hampshire’s likely GOP voters has Jindal running 11th in a field of 12 — behind every conceivable GOP presidential candidate except former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania.

That Jindal continues to pursue national office in the face of consistently anemic poll numbers has become a running joke among the governor’s growing horde of critics both inside and outside Louisiana. It also fuels ever-growing criticism (particularly among state lawmakers) that he doesn’t really care about Louisiana.

Some are bound to compare Jindal to former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, who famously disengaged himself from the day-to-day work of managing the city during his second term. Jindal seemed to govern in absentia during last year’s legislative session after he “parked” his ambitious but ill-conceived plan to hike sales taxes and eliminate income taxes. He spent almost as much time outside Louisiana as in Baton Rouge. This year, the governor already has shown little ambition in terms of a legislative agenda; his proposed budget has been criticized as more fiscal smoke and mirrors. Comparisons to “Enron accounting” cannot be far off.

Meanwhile, back in a state about which Jindal obviously cares a great deal, New Hampshire voters have yet to feel (or reciprocate) the love. New Hampshire holds the nation’s first presidential primary, giving it outsized political importance. A poll by Suffolk University’s research center of the Granite State’s Republican voters showed the following in a GOP presidential primary:

Chris Christie 12%
Rand Paul 12%

Paul Ryan 9%

Jeb Bush 9%

Jon Huntsman 8%

Scott Walker 7%

Marco Rubio 6%

Scott Brown 5%

Ted Cruz 5%

Mike Huckabee 5%

Bobby Jindal 4%
Rick Santorum 2%

The survey was conducted Feb. 27-March 5 and is consistent with poor showings by Jindal both nationally and in key GOP primary states. The survey results were posted online by Clarus Research Group’s daily email feature “Lunchtime Politics.” Clarus is a Washington-based, nonpartisan polling firm run by Dr. Ron Faucheux, a former Louisiana state legislator from New Orleans.

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