Wednesday, 18 June 2014 08:26
Dubious Poll Puts Cassidy in the Lead; McAllister Comeback?
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landrieuCassidy leads Landrieu, but...
    A new poll on Louisiana’s U.S. Senate race is creating different opinions from both Democratic and Republican stalwarts and political analysts.


    Conducted by the firm Magellan Strategies, the poll had Republican U.S. Rep Bill Cassidy leading incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu 50-44%, with 5% wanting “some other candidate” and 1% undecided.
    Magellan, which provides data and information services to Republican Party candidates as well as conservative political organizations, excluded the two other GOP candidates, retired Air Force Colonel Rob Maness and state Rep. Paul Hollis, from the poll.
    Optimistic GOPers say the poll shows that Cassidy could win in the primary on November 4, thereby negating a runoff with Landrieu.
    But other GOP analysts say that is not likely. They point out that Maness and Hollis, when their numbers are combined, have been polling in the double digits in other polls. And they continue to worry about Maness, the Tea Party candidate.  
    After what happened in Virginia where Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor was upset by an unknown and underfunded Tea Party candidate, it might be wise to keep an eye on Maness. And if the Republican establishment candidate in Mississippi, incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran, loses his runoff to a Tea Party candidate, who knows what momentum that might provide for Maness and Hollis.
    Democrats, on the other hand, are totally discounting the Magellan poll, alleging that it is skewed Republican. They pointed out that Magellan’s polling track record is not all that stellar.
    And they note that the poll gives Cassidy 20% of the black vote to Landrieu’s 77%. That is not going to happen in the actual election, predicting that Landrieu will capture at least 90% of the black vote.
    Further, Dems say, it is highly unlikely that only 1% are undecided at this point in the race. And they believe that leaving off Maness and Hollis and using “some other candidate” in the poll makes it inaccurate.
    Magellan has done two other polls on the Louisiana Senate race. In March 2014, it had Landrieu at 39%, Cassidy at 26%, and Maness and Hollis with 3% each.
    Its poll in April 2014 gave Cassidy a 44-42% lead over Landrieu, with Maness and Hollis being excluded.
    The bottom line is this. Be wary of polls conducted by pollsters who lean Democratic or Republican. And if it billed as an “independent poll,” check out who paid for it before you decide its viability.

The Comeback Kid?
    Will Republican U.S. Rep. Vance McAllister, who represents the 5th Congressional District, be the Comeback Kid in the 2014 election cycle?  
    It could happen, according to a recent poll by veteran pollster Darrell Glascock, who heads up the Glascock Group.
    It wouldn’t be the first time McAllister pulled off a shocker. As an unknown in the special election to replace Republican U.S. Rep. Rodney Alexander, who resigned in mid-term, he defeated GOP establishment-backed state Sen. Neil Riser of Columbia, 60-40%.
    But his political career looked over when he was caught on camera kissing a married staffer in his Monroe office. The incident made national news, and Republicans leaders, who had backed Riser, were quick to call for McAllister’s resignation.
    The newly elected congressman refused to resign, but said that he would not seek a full-term in the election this November. But it seems McAllister may have changed his mind, saying he is keeping his options open.
    Back to the poll. When voters were presented with a potential list of candidates, McAllister finished in first place with 26.1% of the vote, slightly ahead of Riser, who had 25.6%.
    According to Glascock, if the two decide to run,  the voters could be looking at a rematch between McAllister and Riser, one that would likely revive the so-called plot by Alexander and Gov. Bobby Jindal to get Riser elected.
    The results prompted Glascock to say, “It looks like to me McAllister, while damaged, is still electable.” In a hypothetical runoff, Riser leads McAllister, 51-49%.
    The poll results:
    U.S. Rep. Vance McAllister, R-Monroe, 26.1%.
    State Sen. Neil Riser, R-Columbia, 25.6%.
    Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo (D), 13.5%.
    Dr. Ralph Abraham, R-Alto, 13%.
    State Rep. Robert Johnson, D-Marksville, 8.5%.
    Former DA Ed Tarpley, R-Alexandria, 6.8%.
    Glay Grant, Libertarian-Boyce, 3.8%.
    Monroe Businessman Harris Brown (R), 2.8%.
 On Monday morning, a new twist was added to the 5th District race. Zach Dasher, a businessman from Calhoun, announced he will be a candidate.
    What’s interesting about this development is that Dasher’s mother is the sister of “Duck Commander” Phil Robertson. In other words, he is Phil’s nephew.

Bayoubuzz Note:  After the column was published, Neil Riser surprised many in the political world by stating he would not be running for the Congressional seat.

Lou Gehrig Burnett

Lou Gehrig Burnett is the publisher of Fax-Net, a North-Louisiana newsletter.

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