As Landrieu's campaign loves to remind reporters and voters, Jindal's approval rating has dropped precipitously in recent years. A recent Public Policy Polling survey showed that just 34 percent of Louisianans approve of the job Jindal is doing, while 55 percent disapprove. That's worse than Obama's ratings in the same poll, where 39 percent of state residents approve of the job the president is doing and 56 percent disapprove. Another survey, from Louisiana-based Southern Media & Opinion Research back in May, showed Jindal with a 48 percent approval rating and a 51 percent disapproval rating.
"I think locally, if you're looking at it, the best thing Bobby Jindal can do for Bill Cassidy is stay away. And that's just because his approval ratings are so low. I mean, he's really kind of become—I don't know if toxic is the right word, but I mean, he's not popular and his support I don't think helps Cassidy," an aide to a member of the Louisiana delegation said.
Cassidy's campaign did not respond to multiple requests for comment on this story.
Appearances with the unloved gov could hurt Cassidy with swing voters as well—the very people that the Cassidy campaign is working to turn out in November, the aide argued.
"[If you look at] his record of supporting all these candidates in all these other states in competitive races, but he's not involved in the race in his own home state? I mean, I don't think it makes sense unless you really take into account that he's just not that popular here. I'm sure he would like to help however possible, but I think there's just been a calculation there that the best way to help is to not be present," the aide said.
But, a longtime Louisiana Republican pollster added, Jindal's numbers are still strong on the far right, "particularly social conservatives," he said. "That's already in the bag for Cassidy. So I guess he made the calculation that 'I might hurt Cassidy if I venture out there and muddy up the middle.' "
Jindal's early presidential campaigning hasn't helped much either. Jindal's apparent fondness for fried butter at the Iowa State Fair and the crisp fall leaves of New Hampshire have become common jokes among Louisiana's political class. A recent favorite, the aide told National Journal, was a joke Republican Rep. Vance McAllister told at the state's annual Legis-Gator Luncheon in August.
McAllister told the Legis-Gator crowd that he had driven from Baton Rouge along Interstate 10 to the Lake Charles event that morning and had stopped outside a small Louisiana town called Iowa [pronounced eye-oh-way] and gotten out of his car, looking for Jindal. (Relations between McAllister and Jindal have been chilly since the governor called for his resignation this year.)
The vast majority of Jindal's media appearances, press releases, and social media are nationally focused, devoted largely to combating the Obama administration and focusing in particular on the recent Ebola outbreak, Jindal's opposition to Common Core, and the Affordable Care Act. He even wrote an op-ed criticizing New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio's economic policies.