Praveen Chakravarty's piece in IndiaSpend examines the standalone strength of JDU in Bihar, and that of Nitish's former, and soon-to-be ally– the RJD and BJP respectively. Our finding is that his allies are electorally far more robust, and Nitish Kumar needs either the BJP or the RJD more than they need him.
"The BJP is the most popular stand-alone party in Bihar, chosen exclusively by - as we said, 37 of every 100 voters, regardless of alliances. The BJP’s support in Bihar has been the most stable (37-39 percent), and they appear to have the least to gain from any alliance.The BJP’s popularity in Bihar predates Narendra Modi’s 2014 general election victory. Lalu Yadav’s RJD is the second-most popular party on a stand-alone basis with roughly 30 of 100 voters.Nitish Kumar, contrary to perception, is the least popular among the three, with 17 of 100 Biharis voting for him alone."