Bobby Jindal: not well-known, but liked by Republicans

July 06, 2015, 1:49 PM UTC

Many Republicans don't know how they feel about the new GOP candidate, but those who do give him mostly positive ratings

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal may have entered the race for the 2016 Republican Presidential nomination as a relative unknown, but Republicans in the latest Economist/YouGov Poll who do have something to say about him generally are positive.  But it is clear that Jindal has a long way to go even to reach Republicans.

When Republicans are asked for a word to describe Jindal, “unknown” seems to be the most common thought.  Jindal was elected Louisiana Governor eight years ago, and served in Congress before that, but more than one in four Republicans claim they don’t know enough about him to decide whether they like him or not. 

But Jindal is nowhere near the least well-known of the large number of announced or still-potential GOP candidates.  Half of Republicans can’t express an opinion of former New York Governor George Pataki, an announced candidate, or Ohio Governor John Kasich, who has scheduled an announcement for later this month.  Nearly all Republicans express an opinion of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, and just one in ten can’t rate businessman Donald Trump.

Unlike candidates like Trump and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who many Republicans dislike, Jindal is popular among those with an opinion.  Just over half hold a favorable view of him.   And the Republicans who could rate him ideologically identify him as a conservative – and although just a tenth of Republicans say he is “very conservative,” most of those who rate him think he is “conservative enough.”

Given their lack of knowledge about Jindal, it is understandable that many Republicans can’t rate his qualifications.  Half of Republicans aren’t sure whether or not they trust him to handle an international crisis, and more than a third can’t say whether or not he is qualified to serve as President.  Forced to choose, they do think that he is a strong leader.  But nearly two in three think Jindal is unlikely to win. 

There are two GOP candidates that Republicans think are much more likely to win the nomination – a third believe former Florida Governor Jeb Bush is their party’s most likely nominee, followed by Florida Senator Marco Rubio.  Just 1% say Jindal likely will win the nomination.  Given the currently-crowded GOP field, there is no clear frontrunner in presidential preference.  Jeb Bush ranks first this week, but five other candidates are at or near 10% in support. 

Jindal gets 3% support, while another 3% of Republicans make him their second choice.

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See the full poll results

Economist/YouGov poll archives can be found here.