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Thursday, 18 July 2013 13:50
Pinsonat: Guillory, Landrieu vs. Cassidy and Trayvon's Louisiana impact
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fireWhat do Louisiana politicos talk about when during the dog days of boredom, when the legislature is not in session no “hot election” is taking place this year and race relations have been rocked due to a high-profile, explosive made-for TV trial?


Pollster Bernie Pinsonat, President of Southern Media and Opinion Research  Inc, always has something to say, which is why we turned to him once again in another edition of “Bernie Burns”.  Below is Part I of a two part series.

There has been some recent speculation that Sen. Guillory, a black State Senator who recently made a high-profile switch to the GOP, might run for U.S. Senate against Mary Landrieu.  Assuming he had an interest and was seriously contemplating this effort, what are your thoughts about his chances?   Senator Elbert Guillory recently switched from democrat to republican because of political philosophy, not to enhance his chances to get elected or reelected. Senator Guillory switch to republican will certainly not help his reelection outlook!  Senator Guillory is not going to run against Senator Landrieu in a spoiler role – not his style!  

Why is Senator Landrieu’s current major opponent, Bill Cassidy, not getting traction?

Congressman Cassidy has a lot of traction and his money raising ability has been surprisingly good.  A lack of money will not be one of Congressman Cassidy’s problems. Lane Grigsby’s spring survey asked voters about Senator Landrieu vote for President Obama’s health care reform legislation – fifty five percent of all Louisiana voters were less likely to vote to reelect Senator Landrieu because of her vote for Obama care.  Only about a third of Louisiana knew enough about Bill Cassidy to rate his job performance and yet most national political prognosticators rate this race as a tossup! This is absolutely the correct assessment of this race as of today! If you are paying attention to the negatively changing political landscape for democrats in Louisiana, one could easily surmise Senator Landrieu’s chances to get reelected are diminishing. White democrats in the legislature have exited the Democratic Party in big numbers. When the next legislature convenes in 2016; the total number of white democrats in the legislature could drop below fifteen. You can count on three or four additional white democrats switching to republican before the 2014 legislative session. Senator Landrieu is the last remaining statewide democrat and her upcoming reelection does not afford her the opportunity (she used in past election) to remind voters we need a democrat and a republican in the US Senate for balance. As Charlie Melancon found out in his senate bid, Louisiana voters showed zero interest in sending another democrat to Washington. Voters did not want a democrat who would vote for President Obama’s legislative initiatives. As long as David Vitter maintained a pulse on Election Day, the majority of Louisiana Voters were voting for him. Senator Landrieu had a double digit lead (as high as 14 points) on Treasurer John Kennedy up until Election Day – this election cycle she finds herself only a few points ahead of a candidate that is only known by a third of Louisiana Voters.  If you are paying attention to what is happening across the Deep South – the outlook for southern white democrats is dismal at best. Senator Landrieu may buck the trend next year and get reelected– this election cycle is very different because she is swimming against a tidal wave.

The Zimmerman trial has stirred up the racial anger across the country.  How might this increase in tension affect Louisiana, politically?  What about upcoming elections?

After President Obama’s Attorney General totally changed the subject at the NAACP Convention preferring to focus on gun laws instead of the civil rights of Trayvon Martin; the Zimmerman trial should be old news in a couple of months!

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