The poll, dated March 6, was conducted on March 5 by Triumph Campaigns. A survey of 1,655 participants, it was the first public poll completed since two of the gubernatorial candidates launched paid media buys or since several public debates were held in that race.
The poll also measured voter preferences for lieutenant governor, attorney general and commissioner of insurance.
With a margin or error of 2.4 percent, Edwards trailed U.S. Sen. David Vitter by only two percentage points, 35 percent to 33 percent. A further breakdown shows Vitter with 23 percent “definitely” favoring him and 12 percent as “probable.” Edwards had 16 percent “definite” and 17 percent “probable,” the poll shows.
Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne is running third with 15 percent (8 percent definite and 7 percent probable), while Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle trails with 7 percent (3 percent definite and 4 percent probable). The remaining 11 percent were undecided.
Breaking the race down by political party preference, 53 percent favored a Republican candidate and 47 percent preferred a Democrat. The percentages were nearly identical on the question of which party best represents respondents’ point of view with 54 percent saying Republican and 46 percent leaning toward Republican.
The poll also reflects that 69 percent of respondents do not feel the state is headed in the right direction while less a third, 31 percent, feel the state is on track.
To the question of approval of the job being done by Gov. Bobby Jindal, 63 percent disapproved, 27 percent approved and 10 percent were undecided. The 27 percent approval rating represents a new low approval rating for the state’s mostly absentee governor who was out of the state a full 45 percent of the time in 2014, according to the Baton Rouge Advocate.
Of the respondents polled 54 percent were female and 46 male; 48 percent were registered Democrats, 35 percent Republican and 17 percent independent. 69 percent were white, 27 percent black, 1 percent Hispanic and 3 percent “other.”
For lieutenant governor, Baton Rouge Mayor-President Kip Holden leads with 33 percent, followed by Billy Nungesser at 23 percent and John Young at 20 percent. State Sen. Elbert Guillory (R/D/R-Opelousas) had 4 percent.
Attorney General Buddy Caldwell appears to be in trouble early on, locked in a dead heat with Democrat Jacque Roy at 30 percent with Republican Jeff Landry at 20 percent and the remaining 20 percent undecided.
State Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon, with 45 percent, appears to have a solid lead for re-election over challenger Matt Parker at 13 percent. The remaining 41 percent were undecided. Those numbers could be skewed considerably should State Treasurer John Kennedy opt to run for attorney general but he is as yet unannounced.
Indeed, the numbers are expected to shift considerably in all races once the full-fledged media blitz is launched by the various candidates and as PAC money flows into the coffers of candidates favored by business, oil and other special interests.