Bernie Pinsonat, President of Southern Media & Opinion Research, explained this new development and discussed with me, other related election-poll issues yesterday in a Bayoubuzz Facebook Live interview, Wednesday afternoon.
According to Pinsonat, the poll numbers are not at all surprising. In his last poll, in May in which Kennedy polled at 32 percent, Boustany at 10 percent, the pollster had cautioned everyone that Kennedy had gotten a lot of publicity during the legislative session in the first half of the year. He became the chief adversary to Louisiana Governor John Bell Edwards, during the middle of a nasty tax increase debate. Kennedy had a catchy slogan (“we have a spending problem, not a revenue problem”), his numbers were high but were artificially high because of the publicity that he was getting a lot of exposure with the public battle with the governor.
Pinsonat also said that Kennedy hasn't spent a lot of time on television advertising which he has corrected today. By contrast, Congressman Charles Boustany, a republican from Southwest Louisiana went on television and his numbers grew from single in other polls and 10 percent in the SMOR poll, to now mid-double digits. Pinsonat said Boustany essentially grew his Congressional base.
Indeed, Kennedy is popular in southwest Louisiana, is well-known there but this is a Senate and a local Louisiana congressperson running TV ads and was able to push voters away in relationship to Kennedy's being a State Treasurer.
Pinsonat felt that Kennedy has not made the argument that a good treasurer translates into the best candidate for US Senate.
Pinsonat said the Acadiana area has a big base of voters and Acadiana which is basically a Republican area not like East Baton Rouge Parish, New Orleans, and Shreveport.
I asked Pinsonat if the poll measured the recent controversy involving Boustany and an alleged prostitute, which might have backfired upon Kennedy who has been criticized for giving the allegations greater exposure by promoting his lack of involvement in leaking the story. Pinsonat said, the story is popular among political bloggers but it has not permeated throughout the state, the story had just broke at the time of the polling. Based on the poll results, Pinsonat said at the present time it doesn't show anything, that it doesn’t look like it has hurt either enough and the candidates have left the controversy alone.
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He did say perhaps the controversy might have affected Boustany and Kennedy by a couple of points either way.
TOMORROW: The Democrats