Tuesday, 26 May 2015 12:41
Louisiana's Congressional clout plummets with loss of Landrieu; poll results
Written by 

cassidyby Lou Gehrig Burnett, Publisher of Fax-Net

Clout takes a big hit

    Poof!  That’s what happened to Louisiana’s clout in Congress when Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu lost her Senate seat to Republican Bill Cassidy.


(Photo: US Senator Bill Cassidy)  

  Roll Call, the newspaper of Capitol Hill, ranks states at the beginning of each Congress to see which ones have the most clout.  Taken into consideration are seniority, leadership positions, committee chairs, important committee assignments, and other factors.

    In the 113th Congress, Louisiana was No. 4 in clout, mainly because of Landrieu’s chairmanship of the Senate Energy Committee, seniority, and her influence with government appropriations.

    But Roll Call’s ranking for the 114th Congress shows that Louisiana took a big hit, dropping from No.4 all the way down to No. 30.  The newspaper said the fall from power for the state was because of Landrieu’s defeat.

    And it noted that the drop may have been even worse if Republican U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise of the First Congressional District had not become House whip.

    Only Virginia came close to matching Louisiana’s fall on the clout index.  It went from No.6 to No. 21 because of the loss of three influential members either through defeat or retirement.

    So, who are the top dogs with the most clout in the current Congress?  The Top 10 are California, Texas, New York, Florida, Ohio, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Michigan, New Jersey, and Maryland.

    The Bottom 10 are Hawaii, New Hampshire, Delaware, North Dakota, New Mexico, Montana, Nebraska, Maine, Rhode Island, and West Virginia.

    As for Louisiana’s border states, it has been noted that Texas ranks No. 2 on the clout index.  Mississippi comes in at No. 18 and Arkansas at No. 38.

Another poll rolls in

    A new poll on Louisiana politics is out, coming  on the heels of the Southern Media and Opinion Research (SMOR) poll we reported on last week.

    This poll, a survey of 1,064 voters on May 18-19 was conducted by MarblePort Polling in partnership with the website, The Hayride.  Ethan Zorfas, who was a consultant in Bill Cassidy’s U.S. Senate race, heads up the polling firm.

    MarblePort’s poll came up with pretty much the same results as SMOR.  Here are the results:

Governor’s Race  

    We have put the SMOR poll results for governor in parentheses for comparison.

    U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R) – 37.6%. (38.1.%)

    State Rep. John Bel Edwards (D) – 27.1.%. (24.6%)

    Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne (R) – 14.9% (16.5%)

    PSC Scott Angelle (R) – 5.8% (5.4%)

    Undecided – 14.6% (15.5%)

Governor’s Race With a Twist

    MarblePort added a twist in its poll.  There has been some chatter about another Democrat entering the race even though the Louisiana Democratic Party has endorsed Edwards.

    Retired Gen. Russel Honore was added since his name has been mentioned as a potential candidate.  If he ran, and it appears unlikely he will, he would probably run as a Democrat or an Independent.

    The pollster commented that it was thought Honore would dilute Edwards’ strength and perhaps set up a runoff between two Republicans.  Not so.  The results show that Honore in the race makes a runoff between Vitter and Edwards much more likely.

    Here are those results:

    U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R) – 34.1%.

    State Rep. John Bel Edwards (D) – 26.4%.

    Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne (R) – 14.9%.

    Retired Gen. Russel Honore (D) – 7.4%.

    PSC Scott Angelle (R) – 5.7%.

    Undecided – 12.9%.

Bad News for Gov Jindal

    While Gov. Bobby Jindal got a 31.8% job approval rating in the SMOR poll, the MarblePort poll was even worse news as the Republican governor contemplates whether to enter the GOP presidential primary.

    It found Jindal’s approval rating to be 27.4%.  That’s a decline from what MarblePort got in a March survey which showed Jindal with a 28.4% approval rating.

Right Direction/Wrong Track

    MarblePort found that conservatives in Louisiana are becoming disenchanted by a failure to translate their votes for Republicans into consistent policy results. 

    There seems to be a general lack of confidence in the state’s leadership, which is under Republican control  Whether that results in more Democrats being elected this fall remains to be seen.

    Only 27.4% of those polled believe Louisiana is going in the right direction.  Interestingly, that’s the same job approval number that Jindal received.  A whopping 72.6% said Louisiana is on the wrong track.

Spending or Revenue Problem?

    MarblePort asked the question: “Do you thinks the state spends too much on wasteful projects or do you think the state does not collect enough taxes?”

    No doubt about the answer as 70% said the state has a spending problem, while 12.6% said a revenue problem.

Legislators Beware of Raising Taxes

    Another survey question asked was about the movement to increase taxes by over $600 million to balance the budget and would they vote for their state legislator if he or she voted to increase taxes.

    Of those responding, 68.9% said they would be less likely to vote for their legislator who supported the tax increases while 24.3% said more likely.

Common Core Not Popular

    While the SMOR poll found that 34.7% supported Common Core and 53.6% opposed the educational standards, only 21.6% support Common Core in the MarblePort poll while 54.5% said they opposed.  Still, 23.9% said they were undecided on the issue.

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Lou Gehrig Burnett

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

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