Bobby Jindal might withdraw from the undercard debate next week in Colorado.
The Louisiana governor is lobbying the Republican National Committee and cable television network host CNBC to alter the eligibility criteria for the prime time debate. Jindal wants early state primary polling to count, versus just an average of national surveys. Jindal barely registers with voters nationally but is in the top 10 and rising in Iowa, and he could forgo the GOP's third televised debate in favor of campaigning there if changes aren't made.
In an interview Monday, Jindal campaign officials said they concluded that the RNC and CNBC have the flexibility to make adjustments in light of their decision to accede to the wishes of Donald Trump and Ben Carson to limit the debate to two hours, including commercials and opening and closing statements. That runs counter to CNBC's original plan to air a debate that ran longer than two hours and skipped opening and closing statements.
"The biggest disappointment is that the RNC and network have outsourced their power to Donald Trump, who believes in national health care and that George W. Bush is responsible for 9/11," Jindal campaign spokeswoman Gail Gitcho said. "They completely caved to his demands."
Jindal ranked eleventh, with just 0.8 percent, in the RealClearPolitics.com average of national GOP polls. He registered eighth, with 4 percent, in the average of Iowa surveys. The governor is campaigning almost exclusively in Iowa, with a strategy of using a surprise finish the Feb. 1 caucuses to catapult into contention. He ranks ninth in the Washington Examiner's presidential power rankings.