We skipped around a bit with the current installment of our monthly poll of the Louisiana political landscape, and as a result we’ve got four races and a couple of major issues to report on.
Here is the poll memo from MarblePort Polling’s Ethan Zorfas…
On Thursday September 10th with Qualifying ending for the Louisiana 2015 elections MarblePort/Hayride conducted a new survey looking at the set landscape for the upcoming elections as well a potential Senate race in 2016. 1,324 likely voters were surveyed with a margin of error of +/-3.0%.
For the most part, there has been little change in the race for Governor. As was the case in our previous three surveys, Republican David Vitter and Democrat John Bel Edwards are the clear frontrunners, both locked in a statistical tie (29.3% Vitter/26.3% Edwards). Both front runners continue to solidify their base, which is making it more and more difficult for the other major candidates to grow.
The percent of undecided voters has shrunk as a result of the addition of “Other Candidate” to the ballot. In previous surveys, the percent of undecided voters was around 14 to 15%. The percent of undecided voters has now dropped to 8%, while the percent of voters choosing “Other Candidate” is 7.4%.
John Kennedy has an almost insurmountable lead over his Republican opponent, Jennifer Treadway (Kennedy 63.3% /Treadway 10.3%/Undecided 26.4%). Kennedy’s lead is strong across the board. He leads among whites by 62 points and blacks by 47 points.
Secretary of State
Incumbent Secretary of State Tom Schedler has a 12 point lead over his Democrat opponent, Chris Tyson (Schedler 45.5%/Tyson 33.6%/undecided 11.9%). At this point, the ballot is breaking on race. Schedler leads among whites (Schedler 59.7% / Tyson 19.8%) while Tyson leads among African-American voters (Schedler 10.4% / Tyson 68%).
If the race for US Senate were held today, it would be a Kennedy/Landrieu run-off. As the only Democrat tested, Landrieu leads the field with 34.7%. followed by Kennedy with 26.2%. Combined, the three other Republican candidates tested have 26.6% (Boustany 11.1%/Fleming 9.1%/Maness 6.4%).
And here are the questions and numbers…
- How likely are you to vote in the up-coming elections for Governor and other statewide and local elections?
|EXTREMELY LIKELY TO VOTE||90.1%||90.4%||91.4%||91.1%||90.3%|
|VERY LIKELY TO VOTE||7.4%||7.1%||7.4%||6.9%||7.4%|
|SOMEWHAT LIKELY TO VOTE||2.5%||2.6%||1.2%||1.9%||2.3%|
- Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of State Treasurer John Kennedy?
|HEARD, NO OPIN
- If the elections were being held today, for whom would you vote if the candidates were David Vitter, Republican, John Bel Edwards, Democrat Jay Dardenne, Republican and Scott Angelle, Republican?
|JOHN BEL EDWARDS||26.3%||30.6%||28.8%||27.1%||31.3%|
- And if the election for Secretary of State was being held today, for whom would you vote if the candidates were Tom Schedler, Republican and Chris Tyson, Democrat?
- And if the election for state Treasurer was being held today, for whom would you vote if the candidates were John Kennedy, Republican and Jennifer Treadway, Republican?
And thinking now about next year’s possible election for US Senate
- If the elections were being held today, for whom would you vote if the candidates were John Kennedy, Republican, Charles Boustany Republican, John Fleming Republican, Mitch Landrieu, Democrat and Rob Maness Republican?
- And do you support or oppose the city of New Orleans removing historic confederate monuments such as the statue of Robert E Lee and P.G.T. Beauregard?
- Should Louisiana cancel its contract with Planned Parenthood?
- Are you male of female?
- Regardless of how you feel today, with which party are you registered to vote?
- Which of the following age group applies to you?
- For statistical purposes only, what is your race?
First, there are polls out there which show Scott Angelle closing on David Vitter. Ours never really has, and neither has the monthly Triumph Campaigns survey. The numbers in this month’s poll show Vitter dropping below 30 percent, but the loss of the three or four points dropping him to 29 doesn’t translate to Angelle or Dardenne; instead it goes to the minor/fringe candidates in the race who now share 7.4 percent.
And Angelle and Jay Dardenne being basically tied (Angelle at 14.9 percent, Dardenne at 14.0 percent) continues the same dynamic as they’ve faced all along; essentially, they cancel each other out.
Vitter is certainly a target of virtually everyone from the opponents to the third-party PAC’s, and that has gradually pulled him down from the mid-30’s to the current 29. But without an individual candidate to challenge him he’s still comfortably in the runoff. That’s why you see the Fund For Louisiana’s Future ad targeting both Angelle and Dardenne at the same time; Vitter’s camp will attack them both in an effort to keep both of them down rather than ruin one of them.
Meanwhile, nobody is attacking John Bel Edwards – because all three Republicans want him in the runoff. The fact he’s only polling at 26 percent despite not getting hit might be why.
Schedler isn’t over 50 percent, but one imagines he shortly will be. The Secretary of State’s race will break late, as will all of the down-ballot statewide races, and the issue in that race is all the “exotic” changes to voting that Chris Tyson is touting; most notably the fact he wants to institute automatic voter registration at everybody’s 18th birthday. That’s a Times Square billboard advertisement for voter fraud, and sooner or later you’re going to see messaging to that effect. Schedler being under 50 is an indication he’ll have to come out of his corner and throw some punches.
Kennedy knows he’s unbeatable this fall, which is why his re-election ads look an awful lot like ads he’d run in his Senate campaign next year. As we can see from the field we’ve assumed for that Senate race, in the event Vitter were to win the governor’s race this fall, that pre-campaign and his current popularity puts him in a decent position to outstrip John Fleming, Charles Boustany and Rob Maness to be the Republican in the runoff.
We also polled a pair of hot-button issues, and the results were predictable. First, perhaps it’s good politics to bulldoze Lee Circle and the other confederate monuments in New Orleans, but it’s absolute poison statewide. By a 64-19 margin, Louisianans want Mitch Landrieu to leave the monuments alone. Considering that 27 percent of the sample is black, you can’t even say that opinion is split along racial lines on this question. If Landrieu goes through with his plan it’s a good bet that could finish him as a viable statewide candidate.
And there have been several national polls showing that Planned Parenthood is a popular organization even despite the recent eye-popping videos showing them brokering the sale of body parts of aborted fetuses; that’s not true in Louisiana. Only 30 percent of those polled say they’re for continuing Louisiana’s contract with Planned Parenthood, as opposed to 45 percent who agree with Gov. Jindal that the contract needs to be canceled.