The poll is actually part of an eight-state survey of Senate races perhaps most affected by the EPA’s proposed carbon-cap rules, in which there is some good news for Republicans (Cotton up in Arkansas, Gardner up in Colorado, Daines up big in Montana, generic Republican up in Georgia) and some not-so-good news (McConnell down in Kentucky, Land down big in Michigan, Tillis down 46-47 in North Carolina). The client paying for the Magellan poll is the National Mining Association – also known as Big Coal if you tend to the crunchy side.
The best news in the poll from a Republican perspective, though, is the 50-44 lead Bill Cassidy has on Mary Landrieu. “Some other candidate” is at five percent, which will probably prompt a denunciation from the Rob Maness camp.
The denunciations are likely to come more from the Landrieu camp and state Democrat party, though, because they’re going to say the sample of 719 respondents polled from June 5-8 is skewed Republican.
The R-D-I breakdown in the sample is 35-50-15, which is a bit off from the current voter registration number of 28-47-25. It’s a little less of a departure from the voting results in 2012 (31-50-19) or 2010 (33-52-15). So there are a few more Republicans than in previous federal cycles, and while that’s not totally unreasonable you’ve got to factor in that Landrieu wasn’t on the ballot in 2010, the last midterm.
On the other hand, David Vitter was, so he would be something of a polarizing figure like Landrieu is. It’s possible Magellan has its sample pegged to what the electorate will look like in the fall.
But another objection would be that the sample for the poll is 71 percent white and 24 percent black. That could well be a bit off; in 2011, when the Democrats had practically no candidates on offer to appeal to the black vote, the electorate was 72-25.5 white-to-black. In 2010 it was 70-27, and in 2012 it was 66-31 – but of course that was a presidential race with Obama on the ballot.
By voter registration, the state is now 64-31 white-to-black. Black voters don’t turn out anything like white voters do in the state right now as a general proposition.
So it may be optimistic to say Cassidy is up by six points and that he’s at 50 percent right now.
But it’s probably not optimistic to say he’s ahead. He’s ahead. In fact, the 44 percent Landrieu got in the poll is probably a bit high – per Real Clear Politics’ average, the best showing Landrieu has had was 45, in a PPP poll back in February.
Assuming Magellan’s numbers are correct and their sample reflects the electorate, though, it raises an interesting question: if Rob Maness and Paul Hollis don’t combine for more than five or six percent, and Landrieu is at 44 or slightly below, there is 50 percent or more available for Cassidy to grab.
This poll says he could win the race in November and perhaps spare us a runoff.
Now – that’s an optimistic sample for Cassidy, and the poll doesn’t name Maness or Hollis as options; it relegates them to “some other candidate” and that’s going to depress what they can pull out of the sample. So it’s probably not prudent to predict anything from this survey.
It does present a possibility, though.
There are some other interesting results in the Magellan poll, because it asks a few policy questions about the EPA’s crazy regulations and some other things.
- Barack Obama’s approval? 35. His disapproval? 60. Sorry, Barry.
- “As you may know, the Obama Administration’s Environmental Protection Agency on Monday proposed a new regulation to cut carbon emissions by 30% from existing power plants by the year 2030. From what you have seen, read and heard about the new regulation, do you support it or oppose it?” The opposition numbers 51 percent, while the support is at 32.
- Get ready for fireworks on this one: “Which is more important to you, President Obama focusing his time and attention on creating a new regulation for power plants to combat climate change or focusing his attention on creating jobs and growing our economy?” Creating jobs gets 79 percent – 79 percent! – and climate change gets 15 percent.
- After a few push-poll-y questions about how the respondents feel when the estimates of all the economic damage the EPA regs will do, this: “Thinking now about the election this November, are you more likely to support or oppose a candidate for the United States Senate that supports the Obama Administration’s new carbon emission regulation?” The result? By 60-28, you’d better oppose these regs if you want to win.
In short, the poll tells us a lot of what we already know: Landrieu is losing, Obama is poison, and you’d better not talk about global warming if you want to win a statewide race in Louisiana.