Poll: Jindal approval rating falls to all-time low, while Vitter is ‘stronger right now than eight rolls of garlic’

Gov. Bobby Jindal’s approval rating has fallen nearly 22% since December to an all-time low, according to the results of a poll conducted by Baton Rouge-based Southern Media & Opinion Research.

Only 31.8% of those surveyed gave the governor a positive job-performance rating, down from 40.9% in December. The governor’s negative job rating, meanwhile, rose to 64.7% from 57.6% in December.

Pollster Bernie Pinsonat, who conducted the research of 600 likely Louisiana voters between May 5 and 9, says such low approval ratings are not unexpected at the end of a governor’s term in the midst of a state funding crisis.

“Most governors takes a hit when they don’t have money, and Jindal hasn’t had money for six years,” Pinsonat says. “Still, this is low. He’s moving into territories that [former Gov. Kathleen] Blanco had after Hurricane Katrina and that [former Gov.] Edwin [Edwards] had when he was in his worst trouble with the feds.”

The other major finding in Pinsonat’s survey: U.S. Sen. David Vitter is squarely in the lead in the race to succeed Jindal as governor.

Since December, Vitter’s support has climbed from 30% to more than 38%, the survey shows. Democrat John Bel Edwards, meanwhile, finished second with 24% in the latest poll, followed by Republicans Jay Dardenne and Scott Angelle with 16.5% and 5.4%, respectively. More than 15% of voters remain undecided.

“It’s important to remember this is only a snapshot from last week,” Pinsonat says. “Still, what this shows is David Vitter is stronger right now than eight rolls of garlic. He’s so dominant right now, if it stays like this the other Republican candidates are wasting their time and money to even run.”

See the complete poll results.

—Stephanie Riegel

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