There Is Now A Third Independent Senate Poll With Kennedy In The Lead

This one is Ed Chernevak’s UNO poll, and its results are very similar to the SMOR poll we discussed here at the site yesterday.

The UNO poll’s numbers aren’t exactly the same, but hey – close enough…


So John Kennedy at 22, and Charles Boustany and Foster Campbell tied at 15, with John Fleming edging Caroline Fayard for fourth place.

SMOR’s numbers showed the same thing – Boustany within a hair’s breadth of Campbell. We can be fairly confident that’s the race we have, and the question is whether Campbell can consolidate enough black vote to edge out Boustany and make it into the runoff.

The UNO poll shows 15 percent of black voters are undecided. It also has a sample which is 28 percent black.

Here’s something interesting, though – among the early voters so far, the black vote is only 25.5 percent. That’s way, way down from the last two presidential elections; the early vote in 2008 had a 35 percent black share (when it was all over, counting votes both early and on Election Day, black voters made up 29.5 percent of the electorate), while in 2012 it was 33 (the overall black share of the electorate was 31 percent). That’s an indication Hillary Clinton is going to get slaughtered by Donald Trump in Louisiana, for one thing, but we already knew that.

But it’s also an indication that candidates depending on the black vote in this cycle could underperform – and relatively significantly. If the black vote comes in at under 25 percent of the electorate and Campbell is ahead of Boustany by no more than a point or two in polls which peg the black share of the vote at 28 or 29 percent, then you could well be looking at a Campbell overpolling by 3-4 percent.

And that would put Boustany in a runoff with Kennedy, with the Democrats having to choose between two Republicans with very similar ideological orientations – and black voters having very little reason to go to the polls in the December runoff for the Senate race.

What does that do? Well, typically the December runoffs in presidential years produce an electorate which is a lot older, whiter and more Republican than the primary, where the presidential nominees are on the ballot. In 2012, for example, the black vote fell off from 31 percent in November to 26.8 percent in December. With two Republicans in the runoff at the top of the ballot in that Senate race and an East Baton Rouge mayor’s race between Bodi White and Sharon Weston Broome where the electorate reflects a depressed black turnout, for example, you could well see a different result than you would if Campbell were still alive in the Senate race.

Just something to pay attention to. The likelihood is still fairly strong that Campbell will make the runoff – but that’s not assured, and it could make a different in some down-ballot races.

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