Fleming in First
Congressman John Fleming (R-Minden) is having a good week so far. A recent JMC poll shows that he is now tied with Congressman Charles Boustany (R-Lafayette) for first place. Fleming is within the margin of error at 14% with Boustany at 15%.
Democrat Foster Campbell (Elm Grove) came in at 15% as well, with his fellow Democrat Caroline Fayard (New Orleans) outside of the margin of error at 12%.
This poll shows an extreme change from JMC’s July poll, where Fleming sat at a discouraging 8%. At the time, Treasurer John Kennedy (R-Madisonville) held the lead at 18%. The poll shows that Kennedy fell to 11% in September.
Fleming is the only Republican to show much growth since July, according to JMC. However, no other polls have shown numbers this drastic. As of right now, JMC is a severe outlier. According to Five Thirty Eight, as of September 21, Kennedy sat at 28%, while Fleming trailed at 7%. This poll, however, shows drastic numbers as well, with severe outliers as Boustany does not even make the margin of error (15%), contrary to data seen elsewhere.
Other polls do, however, still show Kennedy in the lead with the most money. David Duke appears at 3% in the recent JMC poll, one point behind Colonel Rob Maness.
Overall, Republicans sit in a comfortable position to maintain control of the seat. According to Nate Silver, Republicans have an 89.1% advantage over Democrats. The seat is a battle amongst three dominant conservatives, all with fairly solid reputations, especially Fleming.
If Fleming can step up his game in New Orleans, his path to victory is pretty clear. His main problem is name recognition, especially with Kennedy being a native of Madisonville. Fleming is said to be the most conservative Republican in the race, which should help him in deep-red Louisiana.
If more polls like JMC are released this week, then Fleming is in a good position to make the December runoff if he uses these results as momentum to propel his campaign.