The Republican Party’s official “autopsy” begins, “The GOP today is a tale of two parties. One of them, the gubernatorial wing, is growing and successful. The other, the federal wing, is increasingly marginalizing itself…”
But the party may need to a fresh autopsy of the gubernatorial wing soon.
Of the new crop of Republican reform governors, Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal is one of the farthest along, already in his second term after winning a landslide re-election.
Perceiving a mandate for big conservative ideas, Gov. Jindal has proposed huge spending cuts, privatization of government services and the abolishment of the state income tax.
How’s that going over?
The governor received a 38 percent approval rating in the spring 2013 survey, compared to 51 percent last October. A number of issues
contributed to Jindal’s low performance, including state cuts to higher
education and health care, plans to privatize the charity hospital system
and the governor’s proposed state tax overhaul.
Gov. Jindal’s proposed tax reform plan was particularly unpopular. Sixty-three percent opposed the plan to abolish personal and corporate income taxes and raise state sales taxes, while only 27 percent supported it.
The prospect of more state budget cuts was unpopular with 60 percent of respondents saying the budget has been cut enough compared to 33 percent who supported further reductions. Additional cuts in health care and higher education were especially unpopular with opposition to each reaching almost 80 percent.
Overall, 43 percent approved of the president’s job performance compared to 56 percent who do not, which is slightly better than Jindal’s rating.
In other words, once Gov. Jindal moved beyond conservative happy talk into concrete proposals with real impacts on people, his approval rating sunk below President Obama’s in a state that Mitt Romney took 58 percent of the vote.
Back to the drawing board…