Chart: Louisiana's Unemployment Rate During Bobby Jindal's Governorship

Jindal's greatest asset—economic stewardship—is now a liability.

Bobby Jindal, governor of Louisiana, center, listens during a news conference outside the White House with other governors after a meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, Feb. 22, 2010.

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal swept into office in early 2008 on a message of fiscal conservatism and economic prosperity, and he delivered. During his first term, Jindal oversaw an increase in Louisiana's credit rating from Standard and Poor's, and the state's unemployment rate stayed well below the national average through the recession.

Jindal was reelected with more than 65 percent of the vote in 2011, leaving the Democratic candidate with less than 20 percent. Then, slowly, his luck changed.

A July 2014 Public Policy Polling survey of Louisiana voters put Jindal's approval rating underwater by 22 percent, a stark difference from the positive 24 percent spread he enjoyed four years earlier.


The Louisiana unemployment rate is now more than one percent above the national average and a $1.6 billion state budget shortfall this year caused partially by declining oil revenues isn't sitting well with Louisiana voters. Compounding the problem, the state's budget woes lead to a proposed higher education budget reduction of about $600 million and a Moody's credit downgrade. However, most or all of the higher education reduction was replenished thanks to $615 million in additional revenue from new taxes and the elimination of several tax credits.

All of these factors in addition to a very competitive Republican presidential field make the Louisiana governor's White House bid much more challenging than it likely would have been in 2012.