Tags: Trump Administration | Bobby Jindal | GOP2016 | Bobby Jindal | Stuart Rothenberg | Iowa | Louisiana

Analyst: Don't Count Bobby Jindal Out of Presidential Race

Image: Analyst: Don't Count Bobby Jindal Out of Presidential Race
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By    |   Tuesday, 12 May 2015 01:45 PM

While it is early in the 2016 Republican presidential primary, political analyst Stuart Rothenberg says it's a mistake to overlook Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal as a strong contender.

According to Rothenberg, Jindal "is increasingly regarded as only a second-tier hopeful in the Republican presidential race," he wrote in a column for Roll Call.

"He is a 43-year-old Indian-American policy wonk with terrific credentials in a party that desperately needs youth and diversity," the political analyst writes.

"Are we all underestimating Jindal, or has he faded before the race for 2016 has even begun?"

Jindal brings with him a strong academic and policy résumé, with experience not only as a governor and former congressman, but also as a health policy expert, Rothenberg says.

Jindal has also been one of the most outspoken critics of both Obamacare and Common Core.

Those who work closely with the Louisiana governor all describe him in the same way: "intelligent, courageous, conservative, a policy wonk and a leader."

However, he is certainly not without struggles as Louisiana's executive, including falling gas prices, a $1.6 billion budget shortfall, the lowest state in median income, the worst infant mortality rate, and one of the highest unemployment rates.

That being said, Rothenberg says that "Jindal should have broad appeal within the GOP. He is conservative but analytic, and his credentials suggest real policy savvy and a seriousness that goes beyond mere political ambition."

While Jindal has talked about religious themes a lot in recent months, the political analyst says that should not be enough to pigeonhole him as some kind of religious zealot, as the media are attempting to do.

Because there are so many candidates in the Republican field, a candidate may only need to win 18 percent to 20 percent of the vote to win the 2016 caucuses.

"The governor’s supporters argue retail politics is one of his great strengths, and they promise that will be a huge asset as he woos attendees of the Iowa caucuses," Rothenberg writes. "They acknowledge he is unknown in the state right now, and they see that as a great opportunity."

"They better be right," he said. Because "for Jindal, it's all about Iowa."

If Jindal is able to generate excitement once he reaches Iowa, Rothenberg says, "he could become somebody to reckon with."

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While it is early in the 2016 Republican presidential primary, political analyst Stuart Rothenberg says it's a mistake to overlook Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal as a strong contender.
Bobby Jindal, Stuart Rothenberg, Iowa, Louisiana
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2015-45-12
Tuesday, 12 May 2015 01:45 PM
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