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Tuesday, 13 May 2014 13:14

Puzzling Landrieu Polls, Maness on Move, and Riser risen

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manessPuzzling polls
    A poll on the U.S. Senate race released last week by Southern Media Opinion and Research (SMOR) has members of both parties scratching their heads and wondering just where the race actually stands.

    The reason is that the results of SMOR’s poll, conducted from April 28-30, differs greatly from another recent poll conducted by the New York Times/Kaiser Foundation from April 8-15.
    SMOR’s poll has incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu at 36%, the lowest number for her so far. Her main opponent, Republican U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy came in at 35%. The numbers for the two other Republicans in the race were Rob Maness at 7% and state Rep. Paul Hollis at 4%.
    The Times/Kaiser poll had Landrieu with 42%, Cassidy at 18%, Hollis with 5% and Maness at 4%.
    So, observers of this important U.S. Senate race are over the wide differences in the polls that were conducted only a couple of weeks apart. A compilation of recent polls by the non-partisan website Realclearpolitics, which includes the SMOR poll, still has Landrieu with a 13% lead over Cassidy.
    Just as Republicans downplayed the Times/Kaiser poll, Democrats are doing the same with the SMOR poll. Democrats point out the Times/Kaiser poll was an independent poll, but wonder who paid for the SMOR poll, which has not been revealed.
    The SMOR poll surveyed 600 likely Louisiana voters, 80% of them on land lines and 20% on cellular phones. The Times/Kaiser poll surveyed 1,075 registered voters, 49% on land lines and 51% on cellular phones.
    An analysis of the two polls by the Washington Post concluded that the two polls have numerous methodological differences that may account for the disparity. 
    The Post pointed out that the SMOR poll sampled likely voters from registration lists, a sample that bodes better for Republicans, while the Times/Kaiser poll sampled the broader population of registered voters using Random Digit Dialing techniques, typically better for Democrats.
    Additionally, the Post notes that the polls also differed in what questions they asked respondents before the Senate vote question.
    SMOR asked for favorable or unfavorable impressions of each candidate, providing information on each candidate’s residence and occupation, which likely helped Cassidy, who was described as “a Republican from Baton Rouge who is a medical doctor and U.S. Congressman.”
    But as most political analysts point out, the race still has a long way to go before the election on November 4. So, make what you will of the polls because we know there will be more to come.
    The bottom line, though, is that the Landrieu campaign camp has to be concerned – not panicky – at this point in the race.  Most politicos agree when the dust settles, this race will be a barn-burner and could go either way.    

Is Maness on the Move?
    Retired Air Force Colonel Rob Maness, a GOP candidate for the U.S. Senate, nabbed an endorsement from former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin last week.
    And the poll by Southern Media Opinion and Research finally showed him making a small move up by getting 7% of the vote.
    Maness has already received the endorsement of almost every Tea Party and conservative Republican organization, but they did little to elevate him in the polls. But Republican U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy, the anointed party candidate in the race against incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, might want to keep an eye on his rear-view mirror.
    In endorsing Maness, Palin, in a statement, had this to say about Cassidy: “The GOP establishment has turned to a moderate congressman who opposed President Reagan in the past and was actually a supporter of Mary Landrieu until recent years.”
    She added, “He voted to raise the debt ceiling, was one of 19 Republicans to vote for President Obama’s hate crimes legislation, campaigned in support of the government bailout (but now opposes it), voted for Obamacare Medicare savings (but now opposes them). Come on, GOP, is this the best we can do?”
    Maness said, “I am truly humbled Governor Palin would lend her credibility to a regular guy like me. We are winning this campaign the old-fashioned way – by putting people over politics.  I’ve logged 50,000 miles  in my Ford F-150 and visited all 64 of Louisiana’s great parishes – this endorsement is just the energy we need  to keep trucking!”
    Maness got some statewide and national attention from the Palin endorsement last week and from the release of his first TV ad, “Gator,” which was lauded  by conservative and liberal media and websites.
    An online poll at in New Orleans revealed that 65% said Palin’s endorsement would help Maness, 16% said it would help Landrieu, 14% said it would help no one, and 6% said it would help Cassidy.

Confused constituents in the 5th?
    Here we go again. Another election for Congress in the 5th Congressional District, which includes northeast and north central Louisiana.
    With  newcomer U.S. Rep. Vance McAllister, the kissing congressman, saying he is not going to seek re-election, a similar scenario develops as when U.S. Rep.  Rodney Alexander (R) resigned in mid-term.
    Darrell Glascock, owner of the Glascock Group, was recently commissioned to do a poll of potential candidates for the November 4election. The results provided to the Fax-Net were:
    State Sen. Neil Riser (R) – 48%.
    Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo (D) – 14%.
    Monroe businessman Harris Brown (R) – 9%.
    State Rep. Robert Johnson (D) – 9%.
    Attorney Ed Tarpley (R) – 8%.
    State Rep. Jay Morris (R) – 6%.
    Adam Terry, chief-of-staff for McAllister – 5%.
    Libertarian businessman Glay Grant – 2%.
    Riser, who lost to McAllister in the runoff in the special election on November 16, 2013, by a 6-40% margin because of a suspected deal with Alexander and Gov. Bobby Jindal, seems to have regained his political footing – at least for now.
    But it is a good bet that one or more candidates will remind voters of the “Neil deal” if he decides to run again.

Lou Gehrig Burnett

Lou Gehrig Burnett is the publisher of Fax-Net, a North-Louisiana newsletter. | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.