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Tuesday, 08 July 2014 15:46

Landrieu-Cassidy tie, Vitter leads, Mayo not on hold

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landrieuSenate race: Dead heat
    A new poll on the Louisiana U.S. Senate race by Public Policy Polling (PPP) reveals that as few as six percent of voters could determine the outcome.
    In a hypothetical runoff between incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu and Republican U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy, it was a 47-47% tie with 6% undecided.

    PPP surveyed 664 registered voters fromJune 26-June 29.  Of the interviews, 80% were conducted over the phone and 20% over the Internet to reach voters who do not have land lines.  The margin of error is +/- 3.8%.
    In the primary scenario, Landrieu leads Cassidy by 17 percentage points, 44-27%.  Two other Republican candidates were in single digits. Retired Air Force Colonel Rob Maness came in with 8%, and state Rep. Paul Hollis had 5%.  Undecided was 17%.
    Interestingly, all of the candidates have negative favorability ratings with those surveyed.  For Landrieu, 42% approve of the job she is doing while 52% disapprove.
    Cassidy’s favorable rating was only 28%, while 36% view him unfavorably.  Maness was viewed favorably by only 14% and unfavorably by 23%.  Hollis had a 12% favorability rating and 23% unfavorable.
    The three Republican candidates still face a situation where many voters do not know who they are. While only 6% didn’t have an opinion about Landrieu, 36% weren’t sure about Cassidy, 65% about Maness, and 64% about Hollis.
    Republicans will likely spin those findings in their favor, saying that the three GOP candidates have room to grow, while the opinions about Landrieu are pretty much cast in stone after serving three terms.
    But one needs to remember that the election is still about four months away and voters can be fickle fingers of fate.  Much can happen between now and November 4, the primary date.  The runoff, if needed, will be onDecember 6.
    But to Landrieu’s credit, as the last statewide elected Democrat, she seems to be holding her own in what has become a dark-red Pelican State.  As with every election, voter turnout will be the key to success, especially among black voters for Landrieu.

 Oh, about the governor’s race....
    Yes, the Louisiana governor’s race is not until 2015, but it’s never too early to talk about it.  So, PPP used its poll to see how that race is shaping up.
    What PPP did was match up Republican U.S. Sen. David Vitter, who is considered the frontrunner in the 2015 governor’s race, with other declared and potential candidates.
    And guess who would run the best race against Vitter?  Yep, another Landrieu – Democratic New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, the brother of  U.S.  Sen. Mary Landrieu.
    One can easily get the impression that the two Landrieus are the remaining hopes for the Louisiana Democratic Party, which has been in decline in recent years.
    In a hypothetical runoff, Vitter leads Landrieu 48-44% with 8% undecided.  The 48% Vitter received matches his current job approval rating in the U.S. Senate with those surveyed.  His job disapproval rating was 35% with 17% unsure.
    If Landrieu does not run, here is how Vitter fares against other potential runoff opponents.  He leads Republican Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, who says he is running, 40-34% with 26% undecided.
    Vitter, in a runoff with Democratic state Rep. John Bel Edwards, who says he is running, leads 52- 30% with 18% undecided.
    Landrieu, who served as Lt. Governor before becoming mayor of the Big Easy and is now in his second term, continues to be viewed favorably by many voters.  He matches Vitter with a 48% favorability rating, and had an unfavorable rating of only 30%, compared to Vitter’s 35%.
    An Aside: PPP did not ask a question about Gov. Bobby Jindal.  It did about President Obama with 39% approving of the job he is doing, 56% disapproving, and 5% not sure.  
    Also, of those surveyed, 24% said they were liberal or somewhat liberal, 29% said moderate, and 46% said somewhat conservative or very conservative.

Another fiasco in the Fifth?
    The race in Louisiana’s 5th  Congressional District promises to be another interesting one this November.
    Incumbent U.S. Rep. Vance McAllister, the Republican from Monroe who stunned the political world by defeating GOP establishment candidate state Sen. Neil Riser, R-Columbia, in a special election on November 15, 2013, has decided to seek re-election despite his recent scandal.
    McAllister was caught on video kissing a married staffer in his Monroe office.  But last week, with his family by his side, he announced he was going to run and let the voters decide if he should be their representative in Congress.
    He already had five announced opponents, but a new twist has been added to the race.  Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo, a black Democrat, who finished third in the special election, announced last week that he will run again.
    Mayo threw his support to McAllister in his runoff with Riser, which helped him win with 60% of the vote.  If no other Democrat enters the race, political analysts believe Mayo will finish first in the primary and be in the runoff.
    Other announced candidates are Republicans Dr. Ralph Abraham of Alto, Harris Brown of Monroe, Zach Dasher of Calhoun, Ed Tarpley of Alexandria, and Libertarian Clay Grant of Boyce.
    There are 480,666 registered voters in the district, which includes northeast and north central Louisiana.  Of that total, 64% are white, 33% black, and 3% other races.  By party affiliation, 49% are Democrats, 28% Republicans, and 23% Other Parties.

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.