Wednesday, 19 October 2011 19:30

Pinsonat Discusses Louisiana Elections, Jindal, Vitter, Polls

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PinsonatLouisiana election season is now only days away. Numerous legislative and other seats should have final outcomes Saturday night including the spot for Governor, Lt. Governor, Secretary of State, Treasurer, Commissioner of Agriculture and Commissioner of Insurance.   

One of the persons at the center of these elections is pollster and political analyst Bernie Pinsonat of Southern Media And Opinion Research (SMOR).  Bayoubuzz sent written questions to Pinsonat regarding this election season, Governor Bobby Jindal, Senator David Vitter, nastiness of the campaigns and poll differences.  Here are his responses:

 Are there any themes that you see from this election season that will stand out for years to come or should we wait until after election day, next week?

The single biggest change I am seeing is the very short time span in statewide election. In the eighties and nineties most statewide elections started about a year out from election day. Today we are seeing campaigns barely begin running their campaign ads four to six weeks out. Some of this is due to a lack of campaign funds, but this phenomenon also has a lot to do with the availability of so many new forms of communication available to these campaigns. In fact there so many, I could just write about just this area for hours. The era of republican versus republican is new to voters in Louisiana and we will see more of this in every election cycle throughout Louisiana. Democrats challenging republicans will be few and far between.

  What do you make of the politics of David Vitter and Bobby Jindal, this election season?  What are they doing, why are they doing it and what do you think might be the outcome?

 Senator David Vitter has been in the forefront pushing for a republican majority in the Louisiana Legislature and now he is joined by Governor Jindal. That is a lot of financial muscle being thrown at democrats who are hemorrhaging big losses in the legislature.  President Obama, who is approaching a ninety percent disapproval job rating with Louisiana white voters, is obviously hurting Louisiana Democrats fortunes at all levels of government. This trend is now set in stone and no one knows when the democrats will recover. Once the white democrats are literally obliterated from the legislature, it will be interesting to see how long before the republicans begin fighting among themselves for control of whatever there is out there to control.  I am betting it starts immediately after these upcoming elections. The tea party groups are attacking republicans this election cycle – soon it will be their fellow republicans.

Now that the legislature is dominated by republicans – what role will Senator Vitter play in state politics? His heavy involvement at the state level is already fueling rumors he will run for governor after Jindal’s term ends. We all know this - every politician in Louisiana dreams of becoming governor of Louisiana. It is the ultimate political job with total power attached! 

Do you think the campaigns will go nasty this last week or have we seen the last of the mud being thrown by the major statewide campaigns? 

Most election are mud throwing events – it is never if the mud will be thrown / but when to throw the first mud pie. Everyone complains, but it never changes. Candidates have a valuable weapon - it is called free speech. Candidates can say just about anything negative about their opponent and usually do.  That is not available to PAC’s and Political Parties; they cannot disregard the truth in facts or claims.  As we get more and more of these Political PAC”s operating in Louisiana campaigns – look for big time lawsuits to start adjusting the landscape with huge amounts of money involved. If you are a lawyer looking for niche and new revenue source – this area is it.

 We are hearing more about these electronic telephone polls.  They have been used in this election season.  You use real people who talk with the people on the other side of the phone.   Why are the other polls being used?  Do you think they are as reliable?  Why or why not?

I guess these types of ro bo call polls are OK if you want a cheap approach which or may or may not be accurate. I can do these, but have no interest in this approach.  Most candidates need lots of info – why are they winning or losing. How do voter react to various issues like education reform and what taxes are voters willing to pay for a new jail. Why is a candidate falling in popularity? I prefer this approach as it provides our candidates or other clients with lots of useful information. Without a poll that researches any and everything necessary to be able to win – what good is the snap shoot of who is winning?


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