…because you’re likely to see a whole lot of coverage of this Emerson Polling survey that popped Tuesday showing John Bel Edwards within the margin of error of winning the race outright on Saturday night, and if you’re not in Edwards’ camp you’re probably going to want to blow off the election and go get yourself drunk.
We’re here to tell you not to despair, because Emerson’s methodology stinks.
A final Emerson College pre-election primary poll in the Louisiana Governor race finds Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards leading with 48% of the vote. Republican Businessman Eddie Rispone and Republican Congressman Ralph Abraham follow in a statistical tie, with 25% and 19% respectively. Independent Gary Landrieu is at 4%, Republican Patrick Landry is at 3% and Democrat Oscar Dantzler at 1%. (Oct 4-7, MM, n=467, +/-4.5%).
This jungle primary will be held on Saturday, October 12, 2019. If no candidate reaches 50% on Saturday, a general two-candidate election will be held on November 16.
Spencer Kimball, Director of the Emerson Poll points out: “the poll shows incumbent Governor Edwards with a chance to win the race outright. However, if he does fall short of 50%, there is a competitive race to watch between Rispone and Abraham to determine who will challenge Edwards on November 16th.”
Kimball went on to say that “this race is close enough that one of the third tier candidates winning just a few percentage points could pull enough of the vote to keep Edwards from clearing the 50% threshold, on the flip side a melt of support could put Edwards over the top.”
Respondents were first asked their vote preference with an option of undecided, of which 5% of voters said they were still undecided. These voters were then asked a follow up question asking which candidates they leaned toward at this time, Edwards took 43% of the undecided vote, which combined with his base vote moves him from 46% to 48%. Both Rispone and Abraham’s vote share increase by one percent, when the undecided voters are added to their total.
Edwards approval rating as Governor also falls at 48% approval, with 38% disapproval and 14% undecided.
Edwards’s base support is in the Eastern part of the state from New Orleans to Baton Rouge. Kimball suggests focusing on “ the 2nd, 5th and 6th congressional districts to see Edwards returns; If he exceeds expectations in those parts of the state, he has a real chance of winning 50% of the vote and winning the election outright.”
President Trump, who won the state by 20 points in 2016, has a 50% approval and 42% disapproval with 8% undecided. On the issue of impeaching the President, a plurality, 48%, oppose impeachment, and 43% are in support of impeachment. Kimball said, “this data suggests that the President has lost some ground in Louisiana. The issue of impeachment was more popular than what would be expected.”
Remember what we’ve been telling you about how conservative Republicans and upper-income professionals no longer answer the phone to take part in polls. Emerson’s polling methods seem to have exacerbated that problem…
The Louisiana Emerson College poll was conducted October 4-7, 2019 under the Supervision of Emerson Polling Director Assistant Professor Spencer Kimball. The sample consisted of likely voters, n=467, with a Credibility Interval (CI) similar to a poll’s margin of error (MOE) of +/- 4.5 percentage points. The data was weighted by gender, party affiliation, age, and ethnicity based on 2016 turnout modeling. It is important to remember that subsets based on gender, age, party breakdown, ethnicity and region carry with them higher margins of error, as the sample size is reduced. Data was collected using an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system of landlines only (n=248), an online panel provided by Amazon Turk (n=171) and cell phone (n=48) only responses via opt-in text message .
Again, they’re using party affiliation as their metric to generate a sample, which is likely to produce an abundance of soft Republicans less likely to vote than hard-core conservatives. That’s why they’re showing numbers on impeachment which are clearly crap.
But the sample on this poll is questionable. Highly so, particularly given the early vote totals.
For example, Emerson has black voters at 30.6% of the electorate, which is far higher than the number they’re going to be on Saturday night. That 30.6 percent figure is 5.4% higher than it was for early voting. There is zero reason to believe the black share of the vote will be any higher than 27 or 28 percent; Emerson has it rounded off to 31 percent. Worse, Emerson has GOP turnout at 31 percent, the same share of the vote as African American voters are set for, despite the fact Republicans were 41.5 percent of the early voters. In the 2015 primary Republicans were 36 percent of the electorate. There is no reason on earth why they would tank to 31 percent for this election when they’ve already shown they’re more fired up than anyone else.
Emerson also puts the independents and “other” parties at 26.6 percent of the electorate, despite their having been 15.1 percent of the early vote. These are people who won’t even join a political party and they’re going to show up on Election Day at almost twice the share of the electorate they’ve shown up in so far? Why would anyone believe that?
There is a way to fix the Emerson poll. Adjust the sample to fit something more realistic and you might have something you can work with. For example, if you go by the demographics of the early voting, you get Edwards at 43.4 percent, Rispone at 24.9 percent and Abraham at 19.4 percent with 12.3 percent undecided.
And the truth might be somewhere in between. Split the difference and say Edwards is at 46, Rispone at 25 and Abraham 19. If you want to believe Landrieu and Landry will split seven percent you can, though we would be surprised if Omar Dantzler is only at one percent when this is all said and done.
But at this point, it’s fair to assume the polls are all wrong and not even to bother with who is where. This has all become stupid.