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Eye On Candidates
June 25, 2015

Jindal: What He Needs to Do, and Who Will Need to Do It

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal's announced his run for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination yesterday, and the New York Times today offers their view on what he would need to do in order to win:

What Bobby Jindal Would Need to Do to Win

The Coalition: With his embrace of what supporters call religious freedom initiatives and his outspoken opposition to same-sex marriage, Mr. Jindal is hoping to make inroads with the social-conservative wing of the Republican Party...

The Message: Elected two years after Hurricane Katrina struck Louisiana, a state where corruption can seem as endemic as the humidity, Mr. Jindal entered office as a reformer. He still shows some of those impulses, and spent the months before his entry into the campaign issuing policy proposals on matters like health care and education. But while he is able to speak fluently on a range of issues, he has increasingly sought to appeal to cultural conservatives and offer more in the way of red meat..

Why He Won't [Win]: Before he can establish himself in Iowa, Mr. Jindal has a more urgent challenge: rising in the polls sufficiently to qualify for the first major debates later this summer. Despite a gold-plated résumé and a relatively high profile in the news media, he barely registers in national surveys. He has worked hard to draw attention, but so far in the campaign nothing has worked. He is only 44, so Mr. Jindal could use 2016 to position himself for a later run. But if that is the case, he would still need to find a way to prove that he merits future consideration.

The piece notes that Jindal is banking heavily on a strong performance in the Iowa Caucuses to propel him further into the nomination battle. Politico has an interesting overview of the team whose job it is to to this:

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal announced his run for the White House on Wednesday, launching a long-shot bid with hopes that his deep policy expertise has prepared him for a long campaign.

...In the presidential race, he’s polling at 1 percent or less right now. But his advisers, several of whom are high-profile GOP operatives, stress that it’s early in the race, and that so far he has been tied up with his legislative session.

Here’s a look at who’s guiding Jindal’s operation:

Curt Anderson is chief strategist. He is a longtime Jindal adviser — they even wrote a book together — and is a prominent Republican strategist. He is a partner at the firm OnMessage Inc., the firm that last cycle aided a host of successful GOP races, include Sen. Tom Cotton’s (R-Ark.), Sen. Cory Gardner’s (R-Colo.) and now-Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s.

Timmy Teepell is campaign manager. He is Jindal’s former chief of staff and longtime campaign manager, and is also a partner at OnMessage...

Wes Anderson is lead pollster. He has polled for Jindal’s other races for years and is also a partner at OnMessage...

The OnMessage team connections run strongly through a SuperPAC that is supporting Jindal as well, with all three senior advisors being partners in that firm.

Jindal is currently polling towards the bottom of the field, and the team has a long road ahead of them to turn him into a contender. But they seem to be a talented and experienced group, and are certainly capable of delivering a strong showing on the campaign trail.