John Kennedy is crushing his competition in the race for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by David Vitter. Kennedy is leading his closest competitor by 22%. Kennedy is also up 10% from the last Pinsonat poll in February where he only had 22%. His opponents have stayed largely unchanged.
John Kennedy 32%
Charles Boustany 10%
Foster Campbell 9%
John Fleming 5%
Rob Maness 4%
Caroline Fayard 4%
Troy Hebert 2%
Eric Skrmetta 1%
Most of the undecided are Democrats, which is why Campbell and Fayard are polling so low. Josh Pellerin, the other major Democrat, was not included in the poll.
Democrats are 42% undecided opposed to just 21% of Republicans.
Blacks are 52% undecided opposed to just 25% of whites.
The candidates, except for John Kennedy, all suffer from very low name ID. Here’s how the candidates are viewed with the net positive rating in parenthesis:
Charles Boustany—32% favorable /19% unfavorable/49% not familiar (+13)
Foster Campbell—32% favorable /26% unfavorable/43% not familiar (+6)
Caroline Fayard—21% favorable /21% unfavorable/58% not familiar (0)
John Fleming—29% favorable /18% unfavorable/53% not familiar (+11)
Troy Hebert—22% favorable /24% unfavorable/53% not familiar (-2)
John Kennedy—62% favorable /25% unfavorable/13% not familiar (+37)
Rob Maness—31% favorable /19% unfavorable/50% not familiar (+12)
Eric Skrmetta—14% favorable /19% unfavorable/67% not familiar (-5)
The reason why the three candidates who are either underwater or break even in favorability is due to their unique circumstances. Skrmetta is still dealing with the fallout of his tough PSC reelection race in 2014. Troy Hebert is a joke. Caroline Fayard probably needs to hang it up after alienating conservatives in her bid for Lt. Governor.
But given the makeup of the race, it appears we will have one Democrat and one Republican in the runoff in December. Charles Boustany, John Fleming, and Rob Maness are going to have to come up with a way to shakeup the race in the next few months or they will have a hard decision to make about qualifying.
Over on the Democratic side, we can start expecting the Democrats to coalesce around either Foster Campbell or possibly Josh Pellerin and pressure will start to build on Caroline Fayard to drop out.
But right now John Kennedy looks unbeatable, especially as he continues to fight with Governor John Bel Edwards over the budget. If this continues, the U.S. Senate race on the Republican side maybe over before it begins.