With $3.5 million sitting in his campaign war chest and a current job as Louisiana’s state treasurer he’s clearly bored with, John Kennedy is trying to figure out what statewide race he wants to put himself into instead of seeking re-election.
And that $3.5 million indicates Kennedy ought to be a legitimate threat to win, whatever he runs for.
But a poll commissioned by Kennedy and conducted by North Star Opinion Research shows that he’s not much of a threat to win the governor’s race even with that sizable bankroll, strong name ID among voters and an enviable 46-6 approval rating (message to Louisiana politicians and candidates: spend as much time as you possibly can on the talk radio circuit like Kennedy does). The poll showed Sen. David Vitter leading the field with 24 percent and state Rep. John Bel Edwards, the Democrat in the race, second with 20. Kennedy comes next at 13 percent, then comes Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne at 10. Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle is dead last at 2 percent in the poll.
Should Kennedy run for Attorney General, though, his pollster says he’s the favorite. In that poll Kennedy starts out with a 23-18 lead over Democratic Alexandria Mayor Jacques Roy, whose potential candidacy has been gaining some steam in recent weeks. The incumbent, Republican Buddy Caldwell, comes in third with 17 percent and former Republican Rep. Jeff Landry is at 10 percent. That poll shows Landry far weaker than expected, and it indicates Kennedy might be stealing much of Landry’s thunder – something which would potentially lead to Kennedy and Landry beating each other to a pulp over the conservative vote and perhaps allowing Caldwell an avenue to a runoff spot against Roy, which would likely be the only way Caldwell could get re-elected.
The poll also says that Kennedy is a potential winner of the 2016 Senate race should he get in it. There the field is less certain; we know Rep. John Fleming is going to run as the conservative standard bearer, but Fleming’s showing in the poll is surprisingly weak. New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu actually leads with 39 percent, as he’s installed as the Democrat candidate in the race. Kennedy comes next at 18 percent, with Rep. Charles Boustany at 13 percent and Fleming at 7 percent. For Fleming to be behind Boustany is interesting; it shows Fleming has a lot of work to do to get his message out if he’s going to make a Senate run.
See the whole poll release here.