Jindal suspends campaign

Louisiana+Governor+Bobby+Jindal+speaks+Saturday+at+the+Growth+and+Opportunity+Party+on+October+31st%2C+2015.+Governor+Jindal+was+one+of+several+Republicans+to+speak+at+the+event.+%28The+Daily+Iowan%2FKyle+Close%29

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal speaks Saturday at the Growth and Opportunity Party on October 31st, 2015. Governor Jindal was one of several Republicans to speak at the event. (The Daily Iowan/Kyle Close)

Jindal suspends presidential campaign after blanketing Iowa but coming up short.

By Brent Griffiths

[email protected]

In churches, public libraries, coffeehouses, and yes, Pizza Ranches, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal ventured far beyond the Des Moines area, checking off counties and small towns on his way to the famed “Full Grassley.”

But all the time on the ground was not enough.

Jindal suspended his presidential campaign on Tuesday night.

“This is not my time,” Jindal told Fox New’s Bret Baier, whose “Special Report” is where Jindal announced his decision.

Despite constantly emphasizing how important Iowa was to him, Jindal failed to cut into the lead of Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, and Ted Cruz in the polls of likely Republican caucus-goers.

“I think it was just the case where he wasn’t able to get any movement,” said Christopher Larmier, University of North Iowa associate professor of political science.

Low on money, Jindal relied heavily on a SuperPAC to fuel his campaign across the state.

Believe Again, a group that can accept unlimited contributions from individual donors, gobbled up air time on local TV stations and set about scheduling town halls where Jindal would be the featured speaker.

In recent months, the 44-year-old former congressman was slowly creeping up in Iowa — a possible sign that his dogged schedule might yield rewards come the Feb. 1, 2016, caucuses.

National opinion polls used to determine entry to the debate and then whether the top-tier or undercard portions have in effect drawn the contours of the race, however.

Jindal was never able to make it on to the main stage despite lobbying from Iowans like social conservative bigwig Bob Vander Plaats.

The Louisiana governor’s decision came as a surprise to Dallas County GOP Chairman Tyler De Haan, whose group had just hosted Jindal for its fall speaker series just under a month ago. Jindal had also returned to the area for subsequent events.

“By all indications he was going to be there on caucus night,” De Haan said.

With 15 candidates in the field before Jindal’s exit though, De Haan added, candidates face some obvious difficulties standing out.

“You had 17 candidates to start with, which makes it really hard to really make room for your candidacy in a year when there is already a large segment of the Republican Party looking for an outsider,” he said.

In Iowa, Jindal was clearly going after the evangelical lane of the state party as evidence in his frequent calls for a nationwide revival. He faced competition from the likes of Cruz and Carson along with former caucus winners in Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum.

While Jindal was climbing in the polls, Cruz seemed to be picking up steam. On Monday, Cruz netted the endorsement of Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, a staunch conservative who so far is the only member of Iowa’s congressional delegation to endorse anyone.

Jindal had joined King for his annual pheasant hunt and previously held events with Sen. Chuck Grassley and Rep. Rod Blum.

Vowing to continue to work for a conservative think tank he started, Jindal promised to continue to advocate for a particular brand of conservatism, something he had promised all along.

“I know the establishment thinks it’s, messy we have all these candidates. Democracy is messy,” Jindal previously told The Daily Iowan. “They need to get over themselves. I think competition is a good thing. I think having folks compete on their ideas, on their experiences, is better for our nominee, and it’s better for our country.”

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