Will Jindal Make It To Caucus Night?

On January 10, 2016, Bobby Jindal will without question obtain one of his heart’s great desires: liberation from any further obligation to the People of the Gret Stet of Loosiana. As noted here often over the past couple of years, the Gret Stet has become less and less fond of its often-absentee governor, and at the moment he’s doing better in presidential polls in Iowa than he is among the Republicans who know him best.

Three weeks after he becomes a former governor, Iowa will hold its Caucuses. But as third-quarter fundraising numbers drift into view, the question is whether Bobby has enough money to super-size his lunch order, much less organize an effective Caucus performance. Here’s The Hill’s Jonathan Swan:

The presidential campaign of Republican candidate Bobby Jindal looks barely viable, with the Louisiana governor finishing the most recent fundraising quarter with just $261,000 in the bank.

Jindal’s campaign spent more than it raised, taking in $579,000 and spending $832,000 between July 1 and Sept. 30.

And here’s the hammer:

The Louisiana governor is arguably in a weaker financial position than former candidates Rick Perry and Scott Walker were before they quit the race last month.

While Perry had less cash in hand than Jindal — the former Texas governor had just $45,000 in his campaign account last quarter — he at least had a well-funded supporting super-PAC.

Both Perry and Walker benefited from super-PACs that had more than $15 million that they could spend to boost the candidates. But the main pro-Jindal super-PAC, “Believe Again,” disclosed contributions of $3.7 million in its midyear report.

Now Bobby’s also got a “dark money” 527 nonprofit group plumping for him, and all the outside groups pulled in a reported $8 million as of July. But the Super PAC’s been spending some serious coin on Iowa ads, where Bobby’s actually been doing more paid media than anybody else. So it’s unclear how much is left to get Jindal to the end of the year (Super-PACs and 527s only report semi-annually). What he really needs is some fresh evidence he’s doing as well in Iowa as a September NBC/WSJ poll indicated, which placed him tied with Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio at 6%.

For now, I’d guess Bobby’s staff probably isn’t going to get paid for a while, and non-campaign groups will do more and more of what the campaign ought to be doing. But his money troubles have already caught the attention of media vultures, who will be watching his campaign closely for signs of non-vitality. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.