Wednesday, 20 December 2017 22:16

SMOR's Louisiana Poll: Governor Edwards strong popularity; Trump, Sales Tax, Obamacare, more

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pinsonat2Today, Southern Media and Opinion Research released its fall poll which surveyed the Louisiana population on a variety of issues.

Importantly, for specific local politicians, John Bel Edwards is very popular, although a Democrat in a Republican state. His favorable are a very respectable 63%.  He is also the most popular statewide elected official followed by US Senator John Kennedy and Bill Cassidy, who is below fifty percent.


 According to Bernie Pinsonat, President of SMOR, Louisiana is polarized, with Louisiana voters, based upon the party and political affiliations, race--are divided over the "state of the state" and the US future, Trump’s job ratings and more.

SMOR polled other issues such as the popularity of House Whip Steve Scalise, renewing sales taxes, the Affordable Care Act and more.

Below is a verbatim account of the first part of the survey. Here is the link to the entire press release. 

A polarized electorate - It s all about the internals

By looking only at the top lines, one cannot sense what is happening politically in Louisiana. The state's electorate is divided based on party affiliation and race. At the extremes are Republicans and black Democrats. Within these two bookend groups are white Democrats and the group of "no party/other partiers" (aka "independents") which eschew both the Democratic and Republican parties. Voters' outlook, position on issues, and perception of elected officials' job performance is closely influenced by their electorate "group" affiliation.

Louisiana - headed in the right or wrong direction?

Overall, only 36% of likely Louisiana voters say the state is headed in the right direction while'45% say it is headed in the wrong direction. Louisiana Democrats (42%) are more likely than Republicans (28%) to opine that Louisiana is headed in the right direction; after all, the state is being led by a Democrat governor. A majority of Republicans (55%) say the state is headed in the wrong direction compared to 37% of Democrats who hold that opinion.

United States - headed in the right or wrong direction?

Seventy-seven percent (77%) of Republicans believe the United States, headed by Republican Donald Trump, is headed in the right direction while a comparable proportion (73%) of Democrats say the country is headed in the wrong direction. Eighty-two percent (82%) of black Democrats think the United States is headed in the wrong direction.

President Donald Trump - job rating

Love him or hate him, most every voter has an opinion about President Donald Trump and most of those opinions are highly polarized. On a four level scale (excellent, good, not so good or poor), President Donald Trump received the highest "excellent' job rating (24%) and the highest "poor" job rating (36%) of the elected officials tested in the poll; he also received the lowest negative job rating. Trump's positive job ratings are almost exclusively from white voters, with only 7% of black voters giving him a positive rating which is down from 16% in May. Eighty- eight percent (88%) of Republican voters rate his job performance as positive. Eighty-nine percent (89%) of black voter's rate Trump's job performance as negative.

Governor John Bel Edwards-job rating

With the 2017 legislative session five months behind him, Governor John Bel Edwards' positive job rating climbed back into the sixties once again reaching 65%. His positive job rating had fallen to 54% in May 2017 during the legislative session after reaching his previous high positive rating of 63% percent in September 2016. The historical trend since his election shows his job ratings are apparently affected by legislative sessions with talk of taxes and budget deficits. Contentious legislative sessions in which Governor Edwards and Republican legislators clash over spending and revenue priorities obviously hurts Edwards' job ratings. In this latest poll, Governor Edwards' received positive job ratings from a majority of Democrats (82%) and independents (60%) as well as from a near majority (44%) of Republicans.

U.S. Senator John Kennedy - job rating

Senator Kennedy's job ratings are a contrast of race and party. Kennedy's overall job rating is 51% positive and 39% negative. White voters give Kennedy a 62% positive job rating and a 29% negative rating. Black voters give Kennedy a positive job rating of only 27% and 61% negative rating. Republicans give Kennedy a 81% positive job rating. For Senator Kennedy back home in Louisiana being a Republican means the divisive issues he faces in D.C. politics would not affect his re-election in red state Louisiana.

U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy-job rating

Senator Bill Cassidy has a positive job rating of 45% and a negative rating of 44%. Seventy-one percent (71%) of Republicans give Senator Cassidy a positive job rating and as do 55% of white voters. A majority of Democrats (62%) and a near majority of independents (48%) give him a negative job rating. A majority of white Democrats (55%) rate his job performance as negative. Being a high-profile player involved with Affordable Care Act (aka Obama Care) reform likely caused problems with white Democrats.


Congressman Steve Scalise - job rating

Congressman Steve Scalise receives a 55% positive job approval and 30% negative rating from Louisiana voters. Congressman Scalise is a high-profile player in national Republican party politics is now being mentioned as a possible candidate for governor in 2019.

Renewing the penny sales tax in 2018

Only 25% of Louisiana voters want the penny sales tax renewed with no spending reductions to budget. The "renew the penny only if budget spending is reduced" option was favored by 30% of the likely voters polled. Thirty-eight percent (38%) of voters (40% of white voters and 34% of black voters) do not want the penny renewed. Only 23% of white voters and 29% of black voters want the penny renewed with no budget cuts and another 31% of white voters and 29% of black voters say they would favor renewing the penny if accompanied by budget spending cuts.

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