Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, a onetime rising Republican star whose popularity has plummeted in his own state, abruptly dropped out of the presidential race on Tuesday, conceding that he was unable to find any traction.
Jindal’s campaign was one of many 2016 bids that never made any sense, and it made even less in light of his overwhelming unpopularity in his home state. He was held in high regard on the right for his wonkish background and for his electoral success, but by the time he got around to running for president he opted to cast the former aside in favor of trying to play the role of the outraged culture warrior and demagogue. That role never really suited him, and it was one that many other candidates were seeking to fill.
Having presided over a fiscal mess at home, Jindal tried during the campaign to make a virtue out of his deep unpopularity by railing against his competitors and touting his budget-cutting prowess, but this did nothing to boost his candidacy and reminded everyone why he was so disliked in Louisiana. More than most other candidates, Jindal attacked Trump directly in the harshest terms, but he won no supporters for his trouble. Jindal had put most of his efforts into campaigning in Iowa, so there may be a few Jindal supporters that other social conservative candidates will be able to win over, but on the whole Jindal’s departure from the race will have no discernible effect on the the rest of the contest. The end of his presidential campaign serves as a warning for what can happen to “rising stars” in the GOP that put their ambitions for national office ahead of their duties to their constituents.