Is the poll accurate? According to Vitter supporters, the polls from last week and today comes late in the election and any poll that is an internal poll must be questioned.
In a column yesterday, I expressed “Out of fairness, the only polls that have put Melancon into single digits away from the frontrunner ever since the Congressman entered the race have been commissioned by Democrats and performed by Democratic-leaning pollsters.
Perhaps Vitter and his supporters are correct. Maybe his lead is substantial and that Melancon’s poll results are overly skewed in favor of the Democrat. One day soon we will discover if Melancon’s efforts to unseat Senator Vitter is indeed toast. At the longest, we should know the answer on November 2.”
Here is the information provided by the Louisiana Democratic Party:
The poll results were further explained by the Democratic firm Anzalone Liszt Research (D) poll
“Louisiana’s U.S. Senate race continues to trend in Charlie Melancon’s favor. David Vitter’s lead has shrunk to three points (45% Melancon / 48% Vitter) – down from seven points last week (42% Melancon / 49% Vitter) and double digits last month (39% Melancon / 52% Vitter). If Melancon is able to solidify African American voters to traditional Election Day levels, the Vitter margin further erodes (47% Melancon / 48 % Vitter). Undecided voters give Melancon a better job rating than they do Vitter – and are warming to Melancon as the election nears, while cooling on Vitter. Vitter’s initial funding advantage allowed him to out-communicate Melancon for much of the campaign - but now that both candidates are on the air in a real way, Melancon is closing quickly. If Melancon is able to finish with a strong paid communications presence, Louisiana is poised to elect a new senator.
Vitter’s lead continues to erode and is now within the margin of error.
• The trend lines are ominous for Vitter. He currently leads Melancon by only three points (45% Melancon / 48% Vitter), despite a 7-point lead last week (42% Melancon / 49% Vitter) and a 13-point lead in September (39% Melancon / 52% Vitter).
• Exit polling from 2008 shows Mary Landrieu won 96% of the African American vote against former Democrat John Kennedy. Assuming Melancon solidifies 95% of the African American vote this year, the vote would move to 47% Melancon / 48% Vitter.
The small, but critical, universe of undecided voters will determine the election – and they appear more favorably inclined toward Melancon than Vitter.
• Traditionally, undecided voters break disproportionately for the challenger, often at levels of 80% or more - especially when an incumbent is especially polarizing or controversial.
• Melancon receives a 9-point net positive job rating among undecideds (35% Positive / 26% Negative), while as many undecideds give Vitter a negative job rating as a positive one (38% Positive / 38% Negative).
• Among undecided voters, a better than 2:1 margin indicate their impression of Melancon has become more favorable in the last two weeks (26% More / 11% Less) - while an almost 3:1 margin say their say their impressions of Vitter have grown less favorable (9% More / 26% Less).
N=600 live telephone interviews with likely 2010 general election voters in Louisiana. Interviews were conducted between October 17-19, 2010. Respondents were selected at random, with interviews apportioned geographically based on past voter turnout. Expected margin of sampling error is ±4.0% with a 95% confidence level.”