…and the numbers are pretty much what we figured they’d be. Not a whole lot of comfort to be found in these numbers for John Kennedy’s Democrat opponents.
Some results from @WinWithJMC poll commissioned by private donors: U.S. Senate – @SenJohnKennedy 53%, @GaryChambersJr 14%, @LukeMixonLA 7%, undecided 23%; @LouisianaGov approval rating 48% favorable, 44% unfavorable, 8% no opinion. #lagov #lalege #lasen https://t.co/Py2FOf5yaM
— Greg Hilburn (@GregHilburn1) March 27, 2022
Is 53 percent the number Kennedy will end up with on Election Night in November? Our guess is a good four or five percent of the undecideds will break his way and he’ll be somewhere in the 58 percent range, which is more than enough to re-elect him without a runoff. The poll showed Kennedy’s approval at 53 percent statewide, which tracks to his re-elect number against Mixon and Chambers.
The poll result is more or less exactly what we expected to see from Luke Mixon, though.
Mixon, whom we’ve been calling The Alpaca owing to his unusually long neck, has set himself up as the white-dude national Democrat foil for Kennedy. That essentially makes him a stand-in for Joe Biden in Louisiana.
And Joe Biden’s approval rating among white voters in Louisiana, per the weekly CIVIQS poll we check in with periodically, is…13 percent. The JMC poll asked that very question and came back with 14 percent, a similar number. As whites are a few points better than 60 percent of Louisiana’s electorate, you’re looking at about 8-9 percent of the state’s voters who are what Luke Mixon is – a white voter who thinks Joe Biden is any good and Biden critics like Kennedy are wrong.
Mixon is essentially at his ceiling. He might be able to pick up another point or two, but right now you can’t even project him into the double figures.
Of course, as we’ve discussed in our previous analysis of this race, Gary Chambers has a lot higher ceiling than Mixon – and we don’t just use the word “higher” because Chambers’ fundraising has depended heavily on out-of-state marijuana growers. Chambers’ 14 percent number could very well double; he’s catching 30 percent of the black vote according to the JMC crosstabs, and another 36 percent is undecided. Kennedy is actually defeating Mixon 15-10 with black voters in Louisiana, which is pretty significant.
We’ve said that this race could very well be the one which changes Louisiana’s Democrat Party into a black-run operation. Blacks are 60 percent of the registered voters in Louisiana and they’re a sizable majority of the state’s elected Democrat officials, but somehow in most races it’s been white Democrats running in the races at the top of the ballot. With a test case in the Chambers-Mixon contest, where Mixon has had support from white Democrats and most notably Gov. John Bel Edwards, we see that any Democrat who can’t mobilize mass support in the black community is essentially irrelevant and a fringe candidate.
Chambers is likely to show that the feudal nature of the Democrat Party has outlived its utility and that while a black candidate might not be able to win statewide there is no further point in getting black voters behind white candidates who don’t recognize or speak to them.
Kennedy didn’t see anything not to like in the poll and said so in a statement over the weekend…
“I’m always grateful for the support I receive from the people of our great state. I’m running to continue representing Louisianians because serving our people is the greatest honor of my life and because Washington needs to hear their voices louder and clearer than ever,” said Kennedy.
The question the JMC results brings to the forefront now is whether Mixon is going to be able to raise enough money to actually make the race. One could argue that the Bourbon Democrat crowd he represents, who after almost six months of Mixon being in the race have maybe barely raised him more than $200,000 when Chambers has raised thrice that number (and Kennedy is closing in on $20 million), are unlikely to throw much more good money after the bad, and he doesn’t have enough to run a U.S. Senate campaign through to November as it is.
And while Luke Mixon is anything but a viable candidate and never has been, the prospect that even with Edwards’ support a white Democrat has so little appeal for Louisiana voters that even funding a qualifying bid isn’t doable is a pretty stark reality for any white Democrat to have to face in races going forward in Louisiana.