Yet Another Democrat Poll Says John Bel Edwards Is Your Next Governor

This one was done by Ron Faucheux, the former Democrat candidate for mayor of New Orleans and Mary Landrieu chief of staff. Faucheux got WWL and the Baton Rouge Advocate to pay for the poll, and he generated results similar to those Public Policy Polling put out on behalf of the Democrat Gumbo PAC last week.

Namely, that John Bel Edwards beats David Vitter 45-41 in a head-to-head race in the runoff, which the poll predicts based on Edwards and Vitter tying at 24 percent atop the primary results, with Scott Angelle at 15 and Jay Dardenne at 14. The poll says 18 percent are undecided.

Faucheux’s poll has Angelle beating Vitter 40-35 should he make a runoff with Vitter, and Dardenne beating Vitter 42-35.

Interestingly, neither the Advocate nor WWL have any information on the sample or the script of the poll in either outlet’s writeup of it. The poll says it’s of 800 likely voters, but it doesn’t say what the demographic breakdown of the sample is or what its geographic breakdown is, or for that matter how many Republicans and Democrats were polled.

WWL’s writeup has a little bit of the polls innards…

Faucheux also pointed out that he thinks neither Vitter nor Edwards, the only major Democrat in the race, has fully solidified their respective party’s bases in anticipation of a runoff.

“In this poll, 28 percent of Republicans are not voting for Vitter in a runoff against the Democrat, Edwards, and 24 percent of Democrats aren’t voting for Edwards in a runoff against Vitter. Both have work to do,” he said.

Faucheux said as the only major Democrat in the race, Edwards has room to grow his vote among fellow Democrats.

“He’s now polling less than half of Democratic (47 percent) and black voters (45 percent). If Edwards consolidates his support among these voters and turns them out on Election Day, he will likely run first in the primary,” Faucheux said.

Edwards scores better than Vitter among women voters (24 to 20 percent), which could be because of Vitter’s well-known connection to a prostitution scandal, the “serious sin” to which he says he confessed several years ago but remains mostly mum on. Angelle and Dardenne polled at 14 and 15 percent of the female vote, respectively, and 16 and 14 percent of the male vote.

The candidates understandably performed best among voters their respective geographical bases. Vitter, who lives in Metairie, performs best in the metro New Orleans area, his political base. He scored 34 percent of the vote in the metro area, compared to Edwards’ 21 percent, Angelle’s 15 percent and Dardenne’s 10 percent.

Dardenne outpaced the others in his base of the Baton Rouge and Florida Parishes area, earning 28 percent, though Edwards was close behind with 27 percent. Vitter earned 19 percent there and Angelle, 8 percent. Angelle, who is from Breaux Bridge, performed best in south Louisiana, outpacing Vitter 27 to 22 percent. Edwards did best in north Louisiana, with 28 percent to Vitter’s 24 percent.

Looking at the current profile of undecided voters, Faucheux’s poll shows women are more undecided than men (23 percent versus 14 percent); African-Americans are more undecided than whites (27 percent vs. 12 percent); and Democrats and independents are more undecided than Republicans (25 percent and 23 percent vs. 9 percent). Voters in north (21 percent) and south Louisiana (19 percent) were more undecided than metro New Orleans (14 percent) and the Capital region/Florida Parishes (15 percent).

The fact we don’t have any public information on who and where these respondents  are makes it hard to determine whether this poll has any meaning. Like the Daily Kos noted after PPP’s poll came out, this survey has Republican votes outnumbering Democrat votes 53-24 in the primary, but the Democrat candidate beating the Republican 45-41 in the runoff. That’s a bit hard to figure. Questions about the quality of PPP’s poll arose from the fact that Edwards was also tied or within two points of the other two potential Republican runoff participants, something Faucheux’s poll doesn’t present since it didn’t measure Edwards against Angelle or Dardenne in head-to-head questions.

None of this would show up in either poll, of course, but the fact that Vitter has some $7 million available between his campaign and his PAC right now and Edwards has about $1.38 million in his campaign (Gumbo PAC shows only $85,000 on hand as of the last campaign filing, while the Water Coalition PAC has $304,000), and Edwards hasn’t been touched by any of the other candidates or PAC’s yet because all the Republicans want him as their runoff opponent. Which means that if there’s a Vitter-Edwards runoff the withering assault on the Democrat, who is virtually unknown to the Louisiana electorate and is attempting to define himself as a conservative, will be something to see.

But in any event, so far the Republican polls all say Vitter would win a head-to-head race with Edwards and the Democrat polls say it’s the other way around. We’ve got less than a month before the primary, and about seven weeks before the runoff, so we’ll find out soon.



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