There Is Now A Second Independent Poll Confirming The Likelihood Of A Kennedy-Campbell Runoff

Like the Mason Dixon-Raycom poll from last week, this Southern Media and Opinion Research poll shows a fairly wide spread between the frontrunner and the rest of the field. Taken in tandem we now seem to have a reasonably decent consensus on the state of the race.

Republican state Treasurer John Kennedy has created some daylight between himself and the rest of the top candidates in Louisiana’s U.S. Senate race, according to an independent poll from Southern Media & Opinion Research released Wednesday.

Kennedy, in the poll of 500 likely voters, was the choice of 22 percent, followed by Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell, a Democrat, at 16 percent; Republican 3rd District Congressman Charles Boustany at 14 percent; Democrat Caroline Fayard, a New Orleans attorney, at 12 percent; and Republican 4th District Congressman John Fleming at 9 percent.

“Kennedy isn’t a lock, but he’s certainly favored to make the runoff,” said Bernie Pinsonat of Southern Media. “He opened up a decent spread.”

Unlike the Mason Dixon poll, which had Kennedy with a 24-19 lead over Campbell and Fayard in third place with 12 percent, this one shows a hotter battle for second place; Boustany is just two points behind Campbell, and Fayard, within four points, is within striking distance.

The poll puts Fleming largely out of the running at nine percent, which is more or less what Mason Dixon said.

Unlike Mason Dixon which gave David Duke a 5.1 percent score good enough to make next week’s Raycom debate stage, SMOR has Democrat Josh Pellerin in 6th place with 3.5 percent, Republican Col. Rob Maness just behind with 3.4 percent and Duke in 8th at 3 percent. Troy Hebert is in 9th at 1.1 percent.

SMOR’s September poll had Kennedy at only 16.9 percent, but that was before he dumped a million bucks onto the airwaves. His ad claiming that he’d “rather drink weed-killer” than throw in with the Washington insider crowd might have been quirky, to put it charitably, but it appears to have been effective in pushing him back out in front of the race.

The poll, the memo from which can be found here, says Kennedy is catching 24 percent of white Democrats – which is more than Campbell (15) or Fayard (11). Boustany, with 14 percent of that vote, is nearly ahead of Campbell. What’s saving the Democrats’ frontrunner is a 38 percent share of the black Democrat vote, compared with 24 percent to Fayard.

There has been a lot of talk that with Fayard getting the endorsement of Mitch and Mary Landrieu, she’d ride the black vote in New Orleans into the runoff. So far that hasn’t materialized.

With this poll, we can start again to see the race in the light in which it was seen for most of the spring and summer – namely, that it’s in all likelihood Kennedy’s race. He’s going to make the runoff, and he’s going to make it against a Democrat, and he’s going to make it against a Democrat who is highly unelectable. The SMOR poll echoes the findings of Mason Dixon in that regard, which gives us a pretty good idea less than two weeks out from Election Day.

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