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Landrieu's SMOR Poll of Woes, Nothing More

Written by  // Friday, 09 May 2014 11:15 //

landrieu-blueAmYesterday, Bayoubuzz.com published the results of the annual spring Louisiana Poll recently conducted by Bernie Pinsonat and SMOR (Southern Media and Opinion Research). The focus of the survey was the upcoming Senatorial election in Louisiana. Many believe that incumbent Sen. Mary Landrieu’s fate will determine who’s in control of the Senate after the election. Most of the numbers show that this election will be incredibly tough for the three-term Senator.

 Landrieu’s positive ratings have dropped to an all-time low to 39%, while her negative ratings have gone up from 28% in September 2012 to 58%. When “likely voters” (habitual voters who are likely to vote this fall) were asked, 39% rated her job performance as “poor” (up from 13% in 2012). Only 15% of the likely voters rated her performance as “excellent.”

The poll shows that 79% of African-Americans voters give her a positive performance rating. However, white voters, both male and female, are more negative. Since the fall of 2013, her positive ratings among white male Democrats and white female Democrats have dropped 9 points and 6 points, respectively. She also experienced a considerable drop in these ratings during 2013. Furthermore, Republicans do not seem to be thrilled with her performance. Positive ratings among Republicans have gone from 30% to 13% the past year.

Based upon the snapshot of the poll, if the election were held today, Landrieu would receive 36% (down from 41% last fall) of the votes in a four-way trial heat with Bill Cassidy, Paul Hollis, and Rob Maness. Cassidy would receive 35% of the votes. In other words, the gap between Landrieu and Cassidy is narrow, and Jim Geraghty, writing for the National Review, argues that it does not mean much. The numbers might as well be interpreted as 36% to Mary Landrieu and 46% to Republican candidates. Even though Mary Landrieu gets the most votes in the primary, it will be hard for her to get over 50%. In a one-on-one election in December with Landrieu and, for example, Cassidy as the only candidates, the numbers might look quite different.

Americans for Prosperity, the Koch brothers, and various conservative groups have done and are doing what they can to link Mary Landrieu to President Obama. In 2012, Landrieu was considerably more popular than the President, but the gap has been closing since then. Landrieu’s negative ratings at 58% are only 6 points behind those of the President (64%).

Things are not getting easier for her. In today’s press release, NRSC (National Republican Senatorial Committee) continue to tie Landrieu to President Obama. They argue that the President, during a fundraiser in Los Angeles, admitted that he is running in the Senatorial election through proxies like Mary Landrieu. He said: "I’m in trouble at home. I told Michelle back in 2012 I had run my last campaign. But a couple months ago, I had to let her in on a secret and that is, 'Honey, I’ve got one more campaign I’ve got to run'." NRSC points out that Landrieu has gone on air in Louisiana saying that she’s fighting against Obama, but that she was unable to stop him when he delayed the Keystone XL pipeline. The press release also reads: "Mary Landrieu has made a habit of ignoring the President in public, but privately accepting piles of liberal political cash that he raises for her. President Obama's revelation is further proof that Mary Landrieu is just a proxy vote for the liberal Obama agenda in the Senate."

Not simply Landrieu’s perceived or real connection to President Obama, but also her open support of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is one of the major reasons why her popularity has decreased in Louisiana. Only 31% of voters are in favor of the law, while 63% are against it. As in the case of Landrieu’s performance ratings, there are racial differences: 81% of white voters were against Obamacare, while 78% of African-Americans voters were for it.

The numbers also show that Landrieu’s seniority does not work in her favor. After being informed that she has been in the Senate since 1996 and was recently appointed Chair of the Energy Committee, 59% of the voters thought it was more important to elect someone new than keeping her in office. Of undecided voters, 72% thought the same. Bernie Pinsonat said: “Being Chairman of Energy didn't even faze the voters. It was overwhelming, in the 50s, that they'd rather have someone new rather than re-elect her with all her seniority and all her power." 

SMOR poll: Stoking the liabilities of Landrieu's stroke

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