Which appears to be the overall point pollster John Couvillon made in the second part of my interview with him yesterday.
Couvillon’s JMC Enterprises of Louisiana, Analytics and Polling, conducted a poll on behalf of Republican Congressman John Fleming that showed some very surprising results. Republican Louisiana Treasurer John Kennedy is no longer the uncontroverted leading candidate, but Fleming (14%) is now in a virtual tie with Republican Congressman Charles Boustany (15%) and Democrat Public Service Commissioner, Foster Campbell (15%).
Here are the high points in the interview segment and video below:
Republicans Col. Rob Maness (4%) and David Duke (3%) certainly have a chance to be more competitive but there are 24 people running and it would be difficult for one of those two candidates (or any of the others) to get the “substantial competitive advantage” needed, over the others. Also, other candidates such as Democrat Josh Pellerin and Republican Abhay Patel are beginning to advertise on television. Either Maness or Duke would have to triple their support to be at the bottom tier to make the runoff. If the candidate is under 5% at this point, it would be a “high hill to climb” and the jump would need to occur within the next month and a half, until elections.
Also, all of the major candidates are beginning to run their ads now so getting above the “noise” of competing ads are problematic.
Couvillion believes that Caroline Fayard (12%) has been directing her advertising to black radio and hasn't really made the impact where she would be beating Foster Campbell.
Couvillon distinguished his poll compared to one other recent poll conducted by Bernie Pinsonat’s Southern Media & Opinion Research which found that Kennedy has dropped significantly 32 to 17 percent but also found that Charles Boustany was only two points below Kennedy. Couvillon said Pinsonat’s poll was conducted a week before, prior to Kennedy (and others going on TV), had a lower sample (900 vs. 500). However, it is important to note that Pinsonat’s poll was done with actual people calling rather than by electronic polling.
Couvillon also believes his poll of July showed that Kennedy was declining back then. He also compares Kennedy’s poll drops to that of David Vitter’s during last year’s governor’s race. Instead of Vitter rising into the 30’s and 40’s, his numbers began to drop to the low 20’s. Couvillon believes Kennedy certainly can turn it around, but in Louisiana, the worst thing to do is be a front-runner because the opposition likes to punish front runners.
Also, while the individual campaigns are saying their TV ads will make a difference in their respective campaigns, Couvillon believes the later one starts the advertising, the more the ad traffic as they are not being broadcasted in isolation.