Vitter Gains On Edwards In Latest Hayride/MarblePort Polling Survey

Hot off the presses, here’s the latest Hayride/MarblePort survey of the governor’s race and related topics. The latest survey is of 978 likely voters, taken last night (Nov. 11).

For those of you who only care about the top line, here it is: John Bel Edwards 48, David Vitter 42.

From the polling memo…

  • Contrast to the other polls taken right after the election that showed double digit leads for Edwards. Early polls did not reflect voters, whose first choice lost in the primary, moving to their ideological choice. Early polls likely still included some bitterness from nasty campaign in the primary that their candidate suffered.
  • When asked to rank Edwards and Vitter ideologically on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being most conservative, 1 being most liberal). White voters ranked themselves as a 6.9, Vitter as a 7.2 and John Bel Edwards as a 4.1. As voters focus on the race, Vitter will continue to close the gap.
  • David Vitter has moved 19 points up from 23 on primary election night to 42 today. By contrast, Edwards while flirting with the magic 50 number, has moved 8 points.
  • North Louisiana has come home to Vitter. He maintains strong lead in North Louisiana and Lake Charles. Baton Rouge and Lafayette remain the battle ground. Republicans in Baton Rouge are the last group to come around.

The sample on this survey has a very similar flavor to the one Triumph Campaigns, which had the race at 49-41 for Edwards, used. Namely, 51 percent of the respondents are registered Democrats while 33 percent are registered Republicans. In the primary, the turnout figures indicated 46 percent of the electorate were Democrats and 28 percent were Republicans, which tracks pretty closely to actual voter registration in the state. And in the 2014 Senate runoff, 47 percent were Democrats and 28 percent were Republicans. Since typically speaking in Louisiana independents usually lean fairly Republican, an argument could be made that this sample is an Edwards-friendly sample, skewed his way by 4-5 points. The margin of error here is 3.1 percent, so if we were going to adjust the sample you have a race within the margins.

Consider also that in the generic ballot, a Republican beats a Democrat by a 46.9-38.9 margin, which shows that Edwards is almost 10 points over that which could be expected of a typical Democrat while Vitter is four points below (something which Vitter has to remedy by simply bringing conservative voters home by whatever means).

And we did something interesting in this survey to gauge exactly how conservative Louisiana’s electorate is. We asked respondents to rate themselves on an ideological scale, with 9 being most conservative and 1 being most liberal. The answer came back as 6.9. We then asked them to rate the candidates ideologically, and Vitter came back as a 7.2 while Edwards was a 4.1. That would suggest Vitter has to do a better job of convincing the public that the guy with a failing grade from the Family Forum and a 25 percent lifetime score from LABI is not a 4.1 on a score of 9 where conservatism is concerned. That can be done, particularly if Edwards can’t or won’t talk about issues and simply runs on hookers for the last nine days.

The racial breakdown of the sample, by the way, is 71 percent white and 27 percent black. That’s about what we expect the electorate to be, though in both the last two major races blacks made up 31 percent of the electorate. Edwards has largely run away from the black vote in this race, however, and in particular he ditched a campaign forum at Southern last night which inflamed the organizers of the event to no end.

And trust us, this poll is far more believable than the UNO poll out this morning which had Edwards beating Vitter by 22 points. That’s not a professional poll and it’s way off.

Other results from the poll include the Lt. Governor’s race…

BILLY NUNGESSER 48.2% 
KIP HOLDEN 38.1% 
UNDECIDED  13.7% 

…and the Attorney General’s race…

JEFF LANDRY 45.8% 
BUDDY CALDWELL 38.5% 
UNDECIDED  15.7% 

Finally, we looked into the Jay Dardenne endorsement and what effect it had on the race, and what we found was something we thought might have been the case – particularly when the Triumph poll last week showed that by a 24-19 margin the respondents were less likely to support the candidate Jay Dardenne endorsed.

We asked two questions. First, we asked whether the respondents expected that for Dardenne to endorse Edwards would influence GOP voters to support the Democrat, or rather that the endorsement would inflame more Republicans such that they turn out for Vitter. And here’s what came back…

INFLUENCE REPUBLICANS TO VOTE FOR EDWARDS  11.0% 
ENRAGE REPUBLICANS/SUPPORT VITTER  33.6% 
MADE NO DIFFERENCE  55.4% 

 

And we also asked the respondents to weigh in on why Dardenne made the endorsement. We threw in all four of the theories being floated: (1) because he thinks Vitter has bad character, (2) because he’s angry that Vitter attacked him in the primary, (3) because Dardenne is ideologically closer to Edwards than Vitter or (4) because Edwards promised him a job in his administration. Here’s what came back…

VITTER BAD CHARACTER  12.4% 
VITTER ATTACKED HIM  20.2% 
DARDENNE IDEOLOGICALLY CLOSER TO EDWARDS  16.3% 
EDWARDS PROMISED DARDENNE A JOB  33.1% 
UNDECIDED 18.0%

 

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