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Monday, 03 October 2016 11:56
Louisiana US Senate race: Pollster talks Maness, Kennedy, Campbell and Fayard
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kennedy appropriationsLast week, JMC Pollster, John Couvillon announced his statewide poll that provided some surprising results.  Republican John Kennedy had fallen to 11 percent from a definite first place advantage.  John Fleming, who paid for the poll was nestled in second place, one point behind the leaders, republican Congressman Charles Boustany and democrat Public Service Commissioner, Foster Campbell.

Also, last week, we discussed poll findings with Couvillon and discussed the strengths and weaknesses of various leading candidates. 

Below is a continuation of that discussion.

One issue from his poll as well as that from a poll, the week before, conducted by Southern Media & Opinion Research, was the placement of Rob Maness.  I asked Couvillon about why the Tea Party favorite from the U.S. Senate race of 2014, who surprised everyone with a very strong showing in the roughly mid-fifteen percent range, would now be polling in the 3 to 4 percent range.

As a disclaimer, Couvillon had, in my opinon, misquoted and said Maness had received about 3 percent of the vote in 2014, which was clearly incorrect.

Nonetheless, in addressing the real issue, Couvillon said in the interview, that the last time Maness ran against democrat incumbent Mary Landrieu and now-republican US Senator Bill Cassidy, he received support from candidates who did not believe the republican Cassidy, was conservative enough.  This year, however, Couvillon believes that the conservative voter has a number of options, that Maness has not devise the “killer app” that separates himself from the rest of that field. 

Couvillon also felt that Abhay Patel could do well and become more competition for Maness if he is able to go on television.

The conversation then turned to the strengths and weaknesses of John Kennedy, republican Treasurer of Louisiana.  Couvillon said Kennedy is an elected official, has run before, has the name recognition factor. He has plenty of money, he's well-funded, and has the ability to give the "quotable phrase" that is often picked up in the press and that attracts media attention.  Couvillon said, in the past, as treasurer, Kennedy has been able to talk about certain aspects of state financing that gives him an advantage

However, up until a recent Southern Media and the JMC polls, Kennedy was considered to be the front runner.  Couvillon said when you perceive to be front runner, nobody questions that assumption, but if you lost that status, it makes it harder for the candidate on decline.  

Couvillon also agreed that the polls are a moving target as the candidates are now beginning to advertise.

The pollster said that Democrat Caroline Fayard is also well-funded, has run before, has the support of the Landrieu’s, which in Orleans Parish, is an asset. She has the ability to attract the younger voter who might not want a candidate who has been around since the 70s (referring to democrat Foster Campbell), she's trying to make herself as a blue dog Democrat.

Couvillon said that Foster Campbell is perceived to be a diehard Democrat, but he was surprised that Campbell appeared to distance himself from supporting sHillary Clinton during one of the forums.  The pollster said perhaps Campbell took this route because he does not want to be pinned-down as being a Hillary supporter, should he enter the field in a runoff.  The pollster also said, however, generally, candidates are perceived to be in support with the party’s ticket, as Jon Bel Edwards was when he ran for Louisiana governor. 

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