Washington, July 23 (IANS) Indian-American Republican presidential hopeful Bobby Jindal faces the prospect of being relegated to a secondary forum in the first presidential debate set for August 6 as the prime time main event is limited to only the top 10 candidates.
To be hosted by Fox News, the inaugural Republican primary debate in Cleveland would be limited to the top 10 candidates in an average of five national polls with the remaining six featuring in a separate forum before the prime time main event.
Fox News has not yet disclosed which specific polls it will consider, but if the debate were held on Thursday, Louisiana governor Jindal, who has polled between one and two percent in recent polls is likely to be relegated to the 5 p.m. forum.
So would likely be former senator Rick Santorum, Ohio governor John Kasich, former HP chief executive Carly Fiorina, Senator Lindsey Graham and former New York governor George Pataki.
The latest Public Policy Polling survey released Wednesday puts real estate mogul Donald Trump (19 percent) at the top followed by Wisconsin governor Scott Walker (17 percent) and former Florida governor Jeb Bush (12 percent) in the third place.
Senator Mark Rubio (10 percent), neurosurgeon Ben Carson (10 percent), former Arkansas governor Huckabee (8 percent), Senator Rand Paul (4 percent), Senator Ted Cruz (4 percent) and New Jersey governor Chris Christie (3 percent) make up the rest of the top 10.
With Trump attracting more support than ever before, the fortunes of bottom six – Kasich, Christie, Perry, Santorum, Jindal and Fiorina – are fluctuating.
ABC/Washington Post pollsters showed they collectively captured 12 percent of supporters on Monday, but in May the outlets found they got 18 percent.
In the latest Fox News poll, the sextet held 9 percent of the vote. Before Trump’s ascension, Fox’s number was 16 percent.
Meanwhile, Jindal’s presidential campaign pollster said that a new Quinnipiac University poll released on Wednesday found that Jindal has a huge margin between voters who view him favourably and those that view him unfavorably.
According to the new poll, 51 percent like Jindal and only 7 percent don’t. The rest say they don’t know enough about him, according to Nola.com.
The Quinnipiac poll did not say whether they asked voters which Republican candidate they preferred in the overall race.
But the Jindal’s campaign said that healthy favourability ratings indicate better ballot performance down the road.
“We’re happy that what we’re feeling on the ground has been validated,” Wes Anderson, Jindal’s campaign pollster, was quoted as saying referring to the crowds showing up to Jindal events.
But Anderson, the news site, said that the big question is how long it will take for the favorability ratings to begin translating into a preference for Jindal over the other 15 Republicans vying for the Republican nomination.
With two weeks to go until Republicans spar in Cleveland, Jindal has a lot of catching up to do before the August 4 deadline when Fox News decides on the final line up.
And there is always the next time with 9 official televised debates scheduled in the run up to the Nov 2016 poll.
(Arun Kumar can be contacted at [email protected])