Often the pollster is hired by the candidate or a supporter of the candidate. Sometimes, the polls are independent.
Last week Bernie Pinsonat presented his latest poll. Bernie is the President of SMOR (Southern Media & Opinion Research). The poll, which was paid for by his subscribers (not any candidates) showed that Charles Boustany had done exceedingly well since the May poll that SMOR conducted and was now in a virtual tie with front-runner John Kennedy. Essentially, compared to the last poll by SMOR, Boustany had jumped up five points from 10 to 15 percent and Treasurer John Kennedy dropped 17 points.
Kennedy has been leading almost all polls with double digit numbers, so, I, for one, was quite surprised to see the current results.
Over the past few days, following the publishing of the poll, we posted my interview with Pinsonat who discussed the numbers and provided analysis. I conducted the interview, hours after he released his poll. During the interview, Pinsonat said he felt that the poll numbers reflected a focused effort by Republican Congressman Charles Boustany to consolidate his support in Lafayette and the Cajun country with a large media ad buy. Pinsonat also noted that Kennedy was just starting his media buy that very day that he released his poll.
Pinsonat said Democrat Caroline Fayard (11.4) had outpolled Democrat Foster Campbell (9.2), which again, was a surprise to me. he said he thought she was perceived as an attractive candidate and with the support of the Landrieu family, could be very competitive. He also noted that Republican Congressman John Fleming with 8.3% had pulled away from the pack of strong conservatives, right winger neo-nazi Republican David Duke 3.1% and Republican Colonel Rob Maness at 3.3%.
During the interview, Pinsonat emphasized that the poll was not necessarily a good indicator of the future vote especially since the ad buys for most of the other candidates were just beginning and because the public was just beginning to become focused upon the US Senate race.
When I first published last week’s poll, I received a tweet from a person who questioned the accuracy of the poll, the fairness of the media and the veracity of the pollster.
The person posted her reasons for her issues with the poll.
Since I was going to interview Pinsonat later in the afternoon, I decided to use her tweets and question Pinsonat.
The first issue involved her claim that Pinsonat did not include crosstabs in his poll. That claim was incorrect, he did. We, had received the poll and published a summary of it and did not have sufficient time to post the complete poll at the time that we published the article. Her accusation was not accurate.
She also raised two other issues in her tweets. I presented those tweets to Pinsonat.
Here are her tweets. Watch the video for his responses. He did not see the actual tweets but I read them to Pinsonat.
In addition to Pinsonat’s reply to the tweets, he discussed Governor John Bel Edwards and Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers.
Edwards poll numbers soared by double-digits, Pinsonat opined because he handled the flood disaster well.
Pinsonat also noted that Trump and Hillary Clinton were not popular in the state, with Clinton being very unpopular. The pollster felt that Trump’s popularity was more of a function of Clinton’s unpopularity.
Watch the video to view Pinsonat's response to the tweets. Also, at bottom of page are the prior articles related to our recent interview.