by Lou Gehrig Burnett
This is it. The day that was so long in coming – Election Day 2016. The good, bad, and the ugly ads have been run, and it’s now time for the voters to make their choices.
Taking center stage, of course, is the presidential election between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump. It has been contentious, nasty, and nothing like we have ever seen before.
Welcome to the "fall" of the Louisiana US Senate race. Believe it or not, it's October and "yes, Virginia, there really is a US Senate race here in the state".
On Monday, JMC Analytics and Polling sent out, by email, a poll which it also published on its own site that reflected some pretty surprising, if not, shocking news.
Skyrocketing to the top of the polls were Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell (D), and Congressman Charles Boustany (R). Snuggled in that top group was Congressman Fleming, one point behind the two, thus, in a statistical tie as a leader for the US Senate race.
The Fleming campaign, on the same date, posted on its own campaign site, “Boustany and Campbell hold steady at 15%, Fleming doubles support to 14%, and Kennedy plummets to 11%".
What’s going on?
For months, John Kennedy, Louisiana Treasurer, has owned a double-digit lead over his closest opponent in the US Senate race. Charles Boustany, Congressman from Lafayette has polled in single digits. Today, according to a poll just published Wednesday by Southern Media & Opinion Research, Kennedy now holds a roughly two-point lead which is a statistical tie with Boustany with less than two months left to go in the general election.
North Louisiana’s hopes of sending one of its own to Washington to serve as a U.S. Senator for the first time in two decades looks increasingly dim, according to the latest poll of that contest.
A joint effort between the website The Hayride and Remington Research found Republican state Treasurer John Kennedy leading the field with 27 percent, with north Louisiana’s Public Service Commissioner Democrat Foster Campbell a distant 11 points behind, followed closely by Republican Rep. Charles Boustany and lawyer and former statewide candidate Democrat Caroline Fayard.
The hair-splitting in Louisiana’s U.S. Senate contest continues its exponential growth, providing a clear indicator of all but one candidate’s insecurities in making it to the inevitable general election runoff.
The Louisiana US Senate Race is just beginning to attract voters’ attentions. As a result, we discussed the election with pollster John Couvillon of JMC Enterprises of Louisiana, to get his input.
On Wednesday, we published the first part of the interview, which focused upon the Democratic candidates. On Thursday, we published part two, which targeted the Republican side of the spectrum of the political spectrum, including one independent candidate who is running for the seat. Today, we talk about John Kennedy’s challenge as the leading candidate in the existing polls, an analogy with the current Donald Trump campaign, the lack of name recognition of those running against him and more.
According to Louisiana pollster John Couvillon of JMC Enterprises of Louisiana, the upcoming US Senate election should be viewed as a race of two camps—the Democrats vs. the Republicans.
Perhaps, two of the most contentious, yet exciting elections to take place in Louisiana in modern history was last year's Governor's race--John Bel Edwards versus David Vitter and the 2014 US Senate race in which Republican Bill Cassidy ousted incumbent Democrat Mary Landrieu. This year, there is another major election, come November 2016, for U.S. Senate, to fill the vacancy being left by Vitter, who decided not to run for re-election after losing to Edwards.
Ever since Senator Landrieu's poor performance in the primary election, some Republicans have been predicting an easy victory in the run-off.
Such thinking is dangerous to say the least. It is never easy to defeat an incumbent, especially one who has been in the same office for 18 years. The Landrieu name has legendary political appeal in Louisiana as the family has been winning elections for 54 years.