New Poll Out On LA Senate And House Races Begs The Question: Is Scott Angelle The New Neil Riser?

He could well be.

Here’s a poll release from The Trafalgar Group, which has built up a pretty good reputation for accuracy over the past couple of years in polling congressional races and just went in the field to find out how Louisiana’s three federal runoffs look in advance of Dec. 10’s vote…

A new Louisiana poll of likely run-off election voters was released today, showing John Kennedy with a solid lead over Foster Campbell for U.S. Senate. Clay Higgins and Mike Johnson are also leading their competitors for U.S. Congress, Scott Angelle and Marshall Jones, respectively. The Trafalgar Group (TFG), recognized for having the most accurate 2016 battleground state polling and electoral college projection, conducted the poll from November 14th through November 17th.

The results show Kennedy leading with 58.33% to Campbell’s 35.26%. TFG surveyed over 2,200 likely run-off election voters using a random sample of registered voters in Louisiana. The survey was stratified to reflect the expected election demographics in Louisiana. The margin of error is +/- 2.11.

The survey also showed Higgins leading Angelle 49.89% to 42.26% in LA U.S. House District 3, while Johnson is leading Jones 59.50% to 34.85% in LA U.S. House District 4.

Commenting on the survey, TFG Senior Strategist Robert Cahaly said, “Kennedy’s strong support in the US Senate race and presidential vote last week demonstrate that Louisiana continues to be a reliably Republican state. The Democrat victory for Governor in 2015 was a rejection of one candidate and his personal scandals with most down ballot races all going GOP. There’s very little chance of this seat flipping.”

Cahaly also stated, “In Congressional District 4 Johnson has consolidated the Republicans, conservative Democrats and most unaffiliated on his way to a large victory.”

Cahaly concluded, “In Congressional District 3 Higgins inherits most of the Trump coalition of voters. Angelle appears to be consolidating establishment Republicans and traditional Democrats. This one will likely be hard fought, but if newly empowered and energized Trump voters turn out, they will deliver the victory to Higgins.”

That Kennedy would be laying waste to Campbell is little surprise; he’s on the way to a 60-40 blowout or worse. And Mike Johnson is sure to stomp Marshall Jones in the finale of the 4th District race; the poll proves it and it was easy to see from the primary results there.

But Scott Angelle is in some trouble. That’s pretty clear. He’s almost eight points down and his opponent is just shy of 50 percent. That’s going to be hard to make up in three weeks.

Angelle’s race is looking more and more like the one state Sen. Neil Riser found himself in for the 5th District open seat in the 2013 special election after Rodney Alexander decided to retire. Riser was the no-brainer candidate for the special election, so much so that there was a strong sentiment the seat had come open specifically to “put the fix in” for him. Riser was considered to be Bobby Jindal’s hand-picked candidate in the race, and Riser’s campaign team was made up of a lot of Jindal’s political people.

And on the night of the primary, Riser’s vote in a crowded race turned out to be a lot smaller than everybody figured. He got 32 percent, which was probably 10 points less than most people figured. Vance McAllister, a rookie political candidate with a common touch, emerged with 18 percent to make the runoff with Riser – and McAllister proceeded to wax Riser in the runoff by a 60-40 count.

As it turned out, the voters in the 5th District made a massive mistake letting McAllister represent them. While they’d have gotten a perfectly reliable conservative with strong legislative skills in Riser, with McAllister they got a buffoon who couldn’t stop making verbal gaffes and who no sooner was elected but was caught on his campaign office building’s own surveillance video engaging in an extramarital tryst with a female staffer. The next year, when the seat came up for a regular election McAllister was nowhere to be found in the runoff, in which Ralph Abraham beat Jamie Mayo.

Higgins is a bit more politically savvy than McAllister was and he’s staked out an ideological position which looks like it fits the times – muscular, conservative, no-nonsense, patriotic and anti-establishment – but unlike McAllister he’s got zero money to spend. But Angelle was the most no-brainer choice of a candidate for the 3rd District imaginable, even more so than Riser was in the 5th in 2013, and he did even worse with only 29 percent. Higgins topped McAllister’s primary vote as well; he had 26 percent.

And now it’s 49.89 to 42.26 for Higgins. Higgins can probably raise money off that number, which might make his severe cash problems begin melting away (as of Oct. 27 Angelle had some $340,000 in cash on hand while Higgins was down to $11,000).

Angelle’s camp seems to be hanging their hats on the fact there is a good deal of personal dirt on Higgins out there – he just got sued for back child support payments by his second wife, for one thing, and there is a report which says he owes back taxes. The thing is, though, personal dirt didn’t stop Donald Trump from being elected president, and Higgins has already cast himself as a fallen man who’s been saved and is now being beset with personal attacks by an entrenched political elite. So far that strategy seems to be working, and one wonders whether continued shelling out of dirt on Higgins won’t merely reinforce his narrative.

Higgins, at this point, either implodes or he’s joining Kennedy and Johnson on Capitol Hill. And nobody either in Angelle’s camp or unaffiliated would have expected that.

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