(watch video below)
Last week, SMOR released part one of its latest poll--focused upon the US Senate race. Later today, it will release part 2, focused upon the job performance of Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal.
Here is part one of the conversation:
Sabludowsky: I did hear what Bernie was saying about the Governor. So Bernie, let me just ask you a question, if I might. You were saying that the voters are satisfied with Governor Jindal, or, you're saying that don't like him or they would like him more if, perhaps, he lowered our taxes even more? I'm not quite sure exactly what you're saying there.
Pinsonat: No, I'm saying, related to one specific criticism by people who are probably correct, technically, on all the budget maneuvers he's constantly involved in, trying not to cut the budget any further. You know, bond swaps and all the stuff he does. There are a lot of people out there who are critical of him; there are a lot of people out there who are saying that he's going to leave the next Governor with a deficit and its adnauseum attacking him. I'm not saying that Jindal is right; I'm saying that the average person out there they do not pay a lot of attention to this. They pay a lot of attention to the budget process when Jindal has to cut four-five-six-seven hundred million dollars from higher ed and healthcare, but this technical jargon related to moving funds around - they really don't get into that and they don't pay a lot of attention to it.
Crouere: The average voter
Pinsonat: Yea, the average voter. Jindal's popularity is now about 50/50. It was way down when he was really cutting a lot of money from the budget, and he was reducing and had to reduce the funding to the Charity. We ran a survey, and those tremendous cuts pushed his popularity down to 38. But since then, he hasn't had to make those huge cuts. This year, he went out really early before the session and bragged about all the money he was giving back to higher education and healthcare. You can argue that the money he gave them was the money they should have been getting before anyway. But as far as the public is concerned, he didn't make the big cuts. So his popularity has stabilized. I'm not going to sit here and tell you he's popular.
Crouere: No, No. But the bleeding has stopped, Bernie, huh? The free fall has stopped. We're also going to be talking about some new poll results, but let's squeeze in some calls, gentlemen. Our friend Reverend Wallace is with us. Hey, Rev, how are you? Good morning.
Rev. Wallace: Steve, how are you doing, sir?
Sabludowsky, I'm doing fine. Thank you so much, I appreciate it
Rev. Wallace: Steve, I've been following you for a while with a lot of the election stuff that you do. You do a good job there. You're fair. You speak your mind. I don't have a problem with that. The problem I have is that the Republican Party should have knew from the very beginning that this was going to be the biggest race, not only in the state but I think in this country, this race with Landrieu and Cassidy is going to be looked at in a lot of ways by a lot of political people. The Obamacare is fallen like a majorily a topic that people are sort of going that way We see a lot of stuff, we focus on. The Secretary of State, the Veteran Affairs, which fall on her. Monica Lewinsky, and we see other things. As far as Mr. Jindal, I've never looked at him as a Governor of this state. This man had never sat in that office for six hours to do anything that would benefit this state. Everything he did in office benefited him and the people he associated with. He's always had an ambition to run for President. He'll never be; he's not intelligent enough. He showed that on Obama, looking like something real stupid. But I want to say to you: what do you think that the Republicans, and you got this other guy with the alligator deal, he ain't even in the race. This is all the type of stuff that Mary Landrieu needed and Mr. Bollinger came out. I think it's one of the greatest position that this state's Senator, Mr. Bob Livingston would get, Mary Landrieu command a very good position. As a chairman of that committee...I think we would be just stupid to put somebody there that had no seniority, no credibility, that flip being a Republican or a Democrat. Even on the healthcare, Obamacare, he was for it and now he's against it. What would you suggest, anybody, would be the outcome? I think the midterm elections are determined a lot about the Republican Party, the extremist that they are causing a lot of people who could possibly win the election because of what they stand for and what they are associated with.
Crouere: Alright Reverend, let's get Bernie's thoughts on that. I appreciate the call. That's Reverend Wallace. Bernie?
Pinsonat: Well, as I said, Jindal has his supporters and detractors. He's obviously one of the people who's not pleased with Jindal. The bottom line is that's what the polls show. He's pretty well split. Jindal is now looking at his next job. It doesn't mean that he doesn't care about Louisiana. One of the things he does happen to him because he's involved in national politics. It causes a split here in Louisiana. The Democrats see him as spending more time looking at his next job; everything he does is related to it. Republicans still give him pretty good job approval, and they like the way he's reduced the size of government and all the other things Republicans like. So, that's where Jindal is. For the Republicans, yea, this is a big election here in Louisiana. As we move closer to that election, you'll see a lot of different interest groups spending money in this state. The Koch brothers have been spending money; Harry Reid's PAC has been spending money. Landrieu is on television, running ads with Bollinger saying how wonderful she is.
Pinsonat: But at present time, her poll numbers are in the tank. She has got to do a lot better to get.
Crouere: Where is she right now in the state, Bernie? What are the latest numbers?
Pinsonat: Well, her popularity, her job performance, pretty well tracks where she's polling as far as having people voting for her. We had her at 41% last November; now she's down to 36%. Her job performance, which used to be positive, is now negative. The interesting facet of this is that as the President's popularity has dropped - it's never been good, but it has dropped even more towards the negative and so has Landrieu. - Their popularity is pretty close now. They're tracking each other. So that's an interesting part of this whole dynamic is--her support of Obama really has her tied with him. And, of course, if you're trying to get reelected, that's not a good thing.
Crouere: Now, Steve, that doesn't spell good news for Mary Landrieu, does it?
Sabludowsky: No, it does not. Certainly, I'm sure that she would rather be in the 50s. Obviously, this SMOR poll indicates a 36-35 percent toss-up within .6 % difference. The point, I think, that the Reverend was making, though - and this is something that I wrote last week - I wrote about this last week, and that is that despite what Bernie's polls say (and I don't dispute with what the polls say and how the voters feel), and that is that--even though she has what 18 years of experience and she's the head of this really important committee, the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, that they want someone new. and that's really a profound statement, as far as I'm concerned. But what I hear is that the Republicans, especially the National Republican Party and the Senatorial Committee, saying "You know, that position is not important," meaning that a committee position is not that important. Well, I got to tell, they're full of crap. That position is very important. It would be very important whether or not, in terms of Louisiana, whether or not it was Mary Landrieu in that position or Steve Scalise in that position. So to downplay that position and say that it's no big deal...Just think about it.
Sabludowsky: Just think about it, think about it. This is not an endorsement of Landrieu, but like I said before on this program, that should - since Vitter is trying to run for Governor - if Landrieu loses, and now you have Cassidy who's winning. Assuming that's there's a split in government and the Democrats still control the US Senate. Where is that going us, really, where's that going to leave us in the Senate? It's going to leave us, basically in two years
Crouere: Let me ask Bernie that very question you bring up about that position. How do voters view that position, Chairman of the Senate Energy Committee?
Pinsonat: Well, I don't care if you're a Democrat or a Republican; if I would have asked, "Are you for term limits?" and it may vary a little bit based on who represents them and they may like them a lot. Seniority is not a big deal anymore. We talk about it a lot, and I agree with Steve there. People in the business community look upon that as something very important, especially if they have to do business in Washington. Having a Senator or a Congressman who's powerful in any committee is a big deal for them. But that doesn't go below them like it used to. We do not see that as the end-all to have somebody who's very powerful in Washington. We may give them a break if they're our Senators or our Congressman but if we had to vote in Louisiana as we did in our state legislature, we have term limits and if Louisiana had a vote on our Congressman and Senators up there I would be surprised if it wouldn't pass, so, Steve is absolutely correct, if you go to Washington and you need big time help, the business community goes where the power is but that really does not come down into the state and the average voter understands the importance of it or doesn't care about it
Sabludowsky: No question that Mary Landrieu is important to people like Boysie Bollinger and Cannizaro and less important to other people who are not in shipbuilding or major real estate etc...that is a given, however, I do believe that seniority, whether it is David Vitter seniority or Mary Landrieu seniority, especially power of a committee, i think it is very important if you have a situation like a hurricane, like katrina, and it was a darn good thing, that we had at least some influence in the US Senate at that particular time. It was a good think, quite frankly that we had David Vitter to be able to deal with George Bush, because Mary Landrieu could not do that, and I doubt that David Vitter could deal with President Obama right now whereas at least Mary Landrieu could, so I think, I don't care who is in office, I think we should look very seriously at...what happens to us
Crouere: Let's get Bernie response
Pinsonat: Look, he's making an argument that..and I am not going to sit here and argue with it, the problem is we're part of the deep south and whether you like it or not, there will be so few Democrats, especially White Democrats left, it won't matter and I don't think the White House and the Democrat Party, we're still important to them but they're definitely seeing that we don't vote for their president, we're not sending any Democrats to Washington and who knows what will be left, so we won't be abnormal, we'll be normal if we had two democrats or two republicans--which is what most states now are doing