Yet Another Poll Shows A Landry-Wilson Runoff Is On Tap This Fall

A couple of weeks back, we noted that a JMC Analytics poll question, which came out of a poll on the Louisiana Attorney General’s race, but generated more headlines for the sidelight results, showed fairly strong support for the theory of the Louisiana governor’s race we were operating under.

That poll had Shawn Wilson at 29 percent and Jeff Landry at 28 percent. It had Garret Graves, who has since decided not to run, in third place with 12 percent.

Our theory, which seems to be a pretty conventional one, is that Wilson will be able to claim somewhere between 30 and 35 percent of the vote in the primary seeing as though he’s the only black candidate in the race and the only Democrat, and that Landry has a base of support somewhere around 30 percent seeing as though he’s the most prominent conservative running.

And that leaves somewhere in the neighborhood of 35 percent of the vote available for someone else to grab; if it consolidated in one particular candidate, then it’s possible that candidate might knock Landry out of the runoff. Except to do that is almost impossible, because the others are surely going to play crabs-in-a-bucket with anyone trying to make a breakout from the pack at the bottom.

We said this when Stephen Waguespack got into the race. We said he’s going to get attacked by every other candidate, because it makes the most sense to attack him if you’re Richard Nelson, or Sharon Hewitt, or John Schroder, and especially if you’re Shawn Wilson and you believe Landry would be a preferable runoff opponent to Waguespack because Waguespack might be able to attract moderate support that you think Landry can’t.

That’s the theory of the race we’re working with right now. We’ve yet to see anything which would shake us off that theory.

Though John Schroder has a couple of TV ads circulating which in some polls have seemed to generate a move of a couple of points hrere and there. Here’s the first one…

And here’s the second…


And yesterday, another poll primarily of a different statewide race included a question about the gubernatorial campaign which yielded more newsworthy results than its main subject. WPA Intelligence, which is a Republican pollster with offices in Austin, Oklahoma City and Washington, DC (they’re affiliated with the huge Axiom Strategies political-consulting conglomerate), conducted a poll for Billy Nungesser’s re-election campaign and popped the governor’s race question.

Here’s what they came up with

In the governor’s poll, 35% of those surveyed picked Landry as their first choice, followed by Wilson with 25%, “others” with 17 percent and 23% undecided.

Wilson is the former transportation secretary for Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards, who is term-limited and can’t run again during this cycle.

WPA reported that no other candidate reached 4% in the poll, but didn’t break down the others.

The firm did, however, ask voters for their second choice.

In that survey, Schroder led with 8%, followed by Republican former Louisiana Association of Business and Industry President Stephen Waguespack at 4%, Republican state Sen. Sharon Hewitt, Landry and conservative independent attorney Hunter Lundy, all with 3%, Wilson with 2%, Republican state Rep. Richard Nelson with 1%, “someone else” at 7% and 68% undecided.

Nungesser’s numbers were a little soft. He’s at 42 percent, while Elbert Guillory is at nine, and there are 42 percent undecided. That means someone could take Nungesser to a runoff and potentially could win. The question is who could do that and whether they’d want to.


Landry polling at 35 percent in the WPAI survey is interesting. That’s the highest we’ve seen him, and if that number holds it becomes impossible for the other Republicans to produce a runoff participant among them. There are simply not enough votes available for any of them to climb above Wilson.

Plus, Landry is about to hit the airwaves. Here’s his first ad…

And if Wilson is only at 25, it’s a good indication he can’t close the sale with his own voters much less the soft Republicans his boss John Bel Edwards managed to pull twice. Something tells us that’s less about political positioning than it’s about Wilson’s record as DOTD secretary. After all, most of his voting base is in the New Orleans area, and you’d assume voters in New Orleans know that those flyover ramps from I-10 to the New Orleans airport at the Loyola Drive exit in Kenner are STILL not complete four years after the airport opened.

They know Wilson was responsible for building those flyovers and he failed to complete that project before he left the agency and ran for governor, on the proposition that Louisiana needs a governor who’s a bridge-builder. That’s a tough sell when people have specific bridges in mind that he didn’t actually build.

Which could explain why Wilson is sitting at 25 and 24 in the last two gubernatorial polls (the other was a SurveyUSA poll we talked about yesterday), rather than in the 30’s as the only Democrat in the race.

Either way, and obviously it’s very early, it’s looking like it’s Landry and Wilson way ahead and setting up for the runoff.



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