The annual pre-legislative session SMOR poll has been released today by Bernie Pinsonat and it does not look pretty for at least one of our state’s heretofore most popular elected officials--
Governor Bobby Jindal, Mary Landrieu, David Vitter and other statewide officials. The poll also covers the important issues of the day such as education, healthcare and tax reform.
The Louisiana Governor, Bobby Jindal, is now less popular than the state’s most disliked national figure (and political punching bag)—President Barack Obama.
Not that Obama polls well in the state. Far from. However, according to the poll underwritten by Baton Rouge businessman and Republican Lane Grigsby, President Obama has a slight lead over Jindal in popularity.
Jindal has dropped 22 points in a year according to Bernie Pinsonat. The poll was taken prior to a recent scandal that has resulted in the resignation of Jindal's Secretary of Health and Hospitals, Bruce Greenstein.
The poll is usually considered a good barometer of the pulse of the citizens leading into the session.
Here is the summary report by SMOR:
– Lingering dissatisfaction over higher education
and budget cuts, along with pessimism over the state’s direction contributed to Gov. Bobby Jindal’s declining popularity in Southern Media
Opinion & Research Inc.’s latest statewide survey. The governor received a 38 percent approval rating in the spring 2013
survey, compared to 51 percent last October. A number of issues contributed to Jindal’s low performance, including state cuts to higher
education and health care, plans to privatize the charity hospital system and the governor’s proposed state tax overhaul.
Gov. Jindal’s proposed tax reform plan was particularly unpopular. Sixtythree percent opposed the plan to abolish personal and corporate income
taxes and raise state sales taxes, while only 27 percent supported it. Developed and conducted by Southern Opinion & Media Research, the
poll was based on telephone interviews conducted March 18-20 with 600 randomly selected Louisiana voters. The margin of error is plus or minus 4
percentage points at a 95 percent level of confidence.
Among the poll’s other findings:
• The prospect of more state budget cuts was unpopular with 60
percent of respondents saying the budget has been cut enough
compared to 33 percent who supported further reductions.
Additional cuts in health care and higher education were especially
unpopular with opposition to each reaching almost 80 percent.
Forty-seven percent of respondents said state budget cuts have
had a negative impact on them or their families. This is likely the
result of Louisiana’s large number of low-income families, cuts to
state employee rolls and budget cuts to hospitals and higher
education. • With lawmakers set to debate term limits for statewide elected
officials this year, the proposal appears to be popular among
voters. Eighty-three percent of respondents supported limiting
terms for statewide elected officials.
• While U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu has sparred publicly with Jindal
over his refusal to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act,
respondents were virtually split. Forty-nine percent agreed with
Landrieu that Jindal’s decision was politically motivated, compared
to 46 percent who agreed with Jindal’s claim the expansion would
be too expensive for the state.
• While Landrieu has an approval rating of 56 percent, only 12
percent of respondents gave her an “excellent” rating.
Meanwhile, the number who said they would “definitely” vote for Landrieu was nearly identical to those who said they would definitely vote for
someone else – 37 percent and 34 percent, respectively.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, visit www.laplaintalk.com.