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Louisiana Poll: Jindal Plummets, Kennedy Up, State Getting Worse
Written by  // Tuesday, 30 November 2010 08:37 //

A new statewide poll was released today by Southern Media & Opinion Reasearch which shows some remarkable findings, especially regarding the popularity of Louisiana Governor bobby Jindal. 

Here is a press release by SMOR.

BATON ROUGE, La. – Southern Media & Opinion Research Inc. has released its latest survey of Louisiana voters on key issues at the state and federal level, as well as job approval ratings for several of the state’s top elected officials.
 
The poll, developed and conducted by Southern Opinion & Media Research, included telephone interviews with 600 randomly selected Louisiana voters from Nov. 15-17. The overall margin of error is 4 percentage points at a 95 percent level of confidence.
 
Among the findings:
 
·     Gov. Bobby Jindal’s approval rating plummets to 55 percent – a 13-point drop from nearly 68 percent in April 2009. Jindal’s negative job rating is up to 43 percent from 37 percent in the spring 2010 survey. Jindal’s well publicized out-of-state travels remain unpopular among respondents as well.
 
·     State Treasurer John Kennedy now has the highest approval rating for statewide elected officials at 61 percent. His advocacy for reducing the number of state employees is popular among respondents.
 
·     A significant number of respondents – 39 percent – said conditions in Louisiana were getting worse, while 19 percent said conditions were getting better.
 
·     While the state faces deep budget cuts, raising taxes would be very unpopular. Seventy-two percent of respondents said state tax dollars are being spent unwisely, while 62 percent said they think the state’s financial crisis is caused by too much spending.
 
·     More than half of the respondents – 55 percent – said they would rather spare health care than higher education from budget cuts.
 
·     Setting up what could be a contentious issue in the 2011 legislative session, a mere 8 percent of respondents agreed that unclassified state employees making more than $175,000 per year is justified.
 
This survey was funded by Lane Grigsby in an effort to share the thoughts of the electorate with Louisiana elected officials. Grigsby has committed to underwriting a Louisiana voter survey biannually. For more information and to view the complete survey results and analysis, visit www.laplaintalk.com.
 

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Southern Media & Opinion Research
Fall 2010 Survey Analysis


Jindal’s popularity plummets

The November poll shows Gov. Bobby Jindal’s approval rating was 55 percent – a 13-point drop from nearly 68 percent in April 2009. Meanwhile, Jindal’s negative job rating is up to 43 percent from 37 percent in the spring 2010 survey.

 
  Jindal Performance   Positive   Negative   
  Fall 2010                    55             43  
  Spring 2010                61             37  
  Fall 2009                    64             33  
  Spring 2009                68             30 
 
Jindal no longer is Louisiana’s most popular statewide elected official. State Treasurer John Kennedy has a 61 percent approval rating. Attorney General Buddy Caldwell has a 60 percent job approval. Sen. David Vitter has 56 percent approval. Sen. Mary Landrieu has a 54 percent approval rating. Newly elected Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne has a 51 percent approval rating.
 
When respondents were asked if they would vote for Landrieu:
·     36 percent said they would definitely vote to re-elect her.
·     22 percent said they would consider someone else.
·     40 percent said they would definitely vote for someone else
·     2 percent said they didn’t know or would or wouldn’t respond
 
When asked if they would vote for Jindal:
·     39 percent said they would definitely vote to re-elect him.
·     23 percent said they would consider someone else.
·     35 percent said they would definitely vote for someone else
·     3 percent said they didn’t know or would or wouldn’t respond
 
The results demonstrate Jindal’s loss of popularity – 39 percent of respondents saying they would “definitely” vote to re-elect him is not a strong endorsement. Further, Jindal’s prospects for re-election essentially are the same as Sen. Landrieu. This does not suggest Jindal cannot be re-elected, but the results indicate many voters are not committed to vote for him.

Almost half – 46 percent – of all respondents disapproved of Jindal’s travel to other states. Among Republicans, 28 percent disapproved of the travel while 28 percent also said they would consider voting for someone other than Jindal.
 
As the governor touts his accomplishments on a national stage, survey results indicate many Louisiana residents are unhappy with the conditions of roads, elementary and secondary education, higher education, management of state government, lack of job opportunities and public health care.
 
A significant number of respondents – 39 percent – said conditions in Louisiana were getting worse, while 19 percent said conditions were getting better. Jindal’s out-of-state traveling is affecting his popularity back home, especially when so many respondents have a negative outlook toward the most vital functions of state government.
 
State Treasurer Kennedy has a solid job performance rating of 61 percent and a relatively low negative rating at 19 percent. His advocacy for reducing the number of state employees was popular among respondents. Nineteen percent of respondents said they didn’t know enough about him to rate his job performance.
 
Meanwhile, a mere 8 percent of respondents said they believe an unclassified political appointee or state executive making more than $175,000 per year is justified. Twenty-four percent said such compensation is unjustified, while 64 percent said a salary of more than $175,000 for such employees was outrageous. The results portend what could be a contentious issue in the 2011 legislative session.
 
Seventy-two percent of respondents said they did not believe their tax dollars are being spent wisely. This indicates difficulty for advocates of higher taxes to avoid deep cuts to programs. Sixty-two percent of respondents said they think the state’s financial crisis is caused by too much spending, while 32 percent said they believe the state does not have enough revenue.
 
Respondents also do not favor balancing the state budget by raising income or sales taxes, or by increasing taxes on businesses. About two thirds said they favor raising taxes on cigarettes.
 
Sixty percent of respondents, particularly Republicans, opposed raising gasoline taxes to fund new highway construction. According to the results, many believe Louisiana highways are bad and that the state is wasting the taxes they already pay. Also, 68 percent consider suspending tax exemptions a tax increase.
 
A state senator’s recent proposal to offset higher-education budget deficits by raising state income taxes for middle- and upper- income households was unpopular with respondents with 64 percent opposed.
 
When asked which sector – health care or higher education – respondents preferred to protect from budget cuts, 55 percent favored protecting health care while 28 percent favored higher education.
 
Democrats want health care protected more than higher education three to one, and Republicans are evenly split.
 
Fifty-eight percent of respondents agreed with Treasurer Kennedy that Louisiana has too many state employees.
 
Sixty percent of respondents favor keeping the so-called Bush tax cuts in place, while 31 percent want those cuts to expire for people making more than $250,000 per year. This is not surprising in light of how 60 percent of all respondents want the state budget cut without raising taxes.

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