Tuesday, 09 August 2016 17:42

GOP, Trump and Duke: Louisiana's red state quandary

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lou gehrig burnettby Lou Gehrig Burnett, Publisher of Fax-Net

13% could vote for Duke
A survey conducted by the the University of New Orleans Research Center (UNO) reveals that 13% of respondents said they could vote for former Klansman and Republican David Duke in the U.S. Senate primary election on November 8.
UNO surveyed 614 likely voters on July 27-28. The results have a margin of error of +/- 3.95%.
While 13% does not sound like a lot of support, it could be significant when one considers there will be nine Republicans on the ballot splitting up the GOP vote in the primary.

The four Republican candidates considered the most viable are state Treasurer John Kennedy, U.S. Reps. Charles Boustany and John Fleming, and retired Air Force Colonel Rob Maness.
And, as one politico pointed out, if 13% were willing to tell a stranger that they would vote for Duke, the number is likely higher when you consider those who would not reveal that information. The 13% has to be considered hard-core Duke supporters.
Duke, according to the poll, gets most of his support in the Fifth Congressional District where 24% said they could vote for Duke. That district encompasses parishes in northeast and north central Louisiana.
A whopping 84% of respondents said they would never vote for Duke. Even if by some quirk of fate Duke would wind up in the runoff against a Democrat, only 16% of respondents said they would vote for him. Among Republicans polled, 23% said they would support Duke over a Democrat candidate.
Interestingly, the survey reveals that Duke gets most of his support from the age group 18 to 29 where 21% of those surveyed in that age group said they could vote for Duke. In the age group 30 to 49, the support for Duke was 18%.
The big question is who will Duke hurt the most with his name on the ballot. The consensus seems to be that he would take votes away from the two candidates regarded as most conservative – Fleming and Maness.
The UNO survey reveals that 15% of Republicans surveyed said they could vote for Duke, while 10% of Democrats said they could. Among Other Party voters, 12% said they could vote for Duke.
Obviously, Duke has changed the dynamics of the U.S. Senate race with his entry into the fray. Republican Party leaders are trying to decide how to deal with him. And he poses a problem for forum organizers, who have to decide who will be included.
All parties are anxiously awaiting the first independent poll to see where everyone stands.

Duke’s bold prediction
U.S. Senate candidate David Duke is trying to latch onto the coattails of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump to enhance his candidacy.
Granted, Trump’s coattails seem to be on the short side nationally, but perhaps a bit longer in the red state of Louisiana where Trump is predicted to capture the state’s eight electoral votes.
In a recent interview with National Public Radio (NPR), Duke boldly predicted that Trump backers in Louisiana would support his U.S. Senate run.
He also stated that he is 100% behind Trump’s agenda, adding, “As a United States senator, nobody will be more supportive of his legislative agenda, his Supreme Court agenda, then I will.”
The interview took place on NPR’s Morning Edition and was conducted by Steve Inskeep.
In the interview, the former Klansman and white supremacist told Inskeep the his campaign has already polled Trump supporters in Louisiana and that he feels confident he will carry 75 to 80% of the voters who will cast their ballot for Trump.
Duke claimed that there is a massive racist, racial discrimination against European-Americans and a very vicious anti-white narrative in the media. Hollywood, he noted, is not controlled by European-Americans.
When Inskeep asked if he was referring to Jews, Duke responded, “Well, they’re from the Middle East; that’s not European.”
Duke concluded the interview when Inskeep asked, “You think Trump voters are your voters?” by saying, “Well, of course they are! because I represent the ideas of preserving this country and the heritage of this country, and I think Trump represents that as well.”

Gov. Edwards at 49%
The UNO survey also tested the popularity of Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards. His approval rating came in at 49% with 36% disapproval and 15% with no opinion.
His approval rating among whites was 40%, among blacks 70%, among males 45%, among women 52%, among Democrats 75%, among Republicans 26%, and among Other Party voters 49%.
UNO’s survey in March 2016 gave Edwards a favorable rating of 43%, so his numbers have improved by 6% in this July survey. At the same time, his disapproval rating also went up from 34% in March to 36% in July.
The approval rating for Edwards comes after being in office for seven months and going through a regular session and two special sessions of the Legislature.

No free rides to Congress
Once upon a time, an incumbent member of the U.S. House had a good chance of being unopposed for re-election. but with the political turmoil taking place today, that is not the case in 2016.
Still, incumbents have a huge advantage money-wise, so most of their opponents pose very little threat to their re-election to another two-year term.
Let’s take a look at the six U.S. House districts:
District 1
Republican Rep. Steve Scalise is the incumbent. He is the Majority Whip in the U.S. House. In a bit of a surprise, Scalise has six opponents – three Democrats, one Green Party, one Libertarian, and two No Party.
Not to worry. Scalise has nearly $3 million in his campaign fund.
District 2
Democrat Cedric Richmond is the incumbent in this majority-black district. He has three opponents, one of which is considered viable – Mayor of Baton Rouge Melvin “Kip” Holden. Another Democrat and a Libertarian are also challenging Richmond.
Richmond has nearly $1.1 million is his campaign warchest.
District 3
Incumbent Republican Rep. Charles Boustany is running for the U.S. Senate, so this is an open seat. There are 12 candidates seeking the seat – eight Republicans, two Democrats, one Libertarian, and one No Party.
District 4
Incumbent Republican Rep. John Fleming is running for the U.S. Senate, so this is also an open seat. Eight candidates qualified – five Republicans, one Democrat, and two No Party.
District 5
Republican Rep. Ralph Abraham Jr. is the incumbent. He has only one Republican opponent and has $385,000 in his campaign fund.
District 6
Republican Rep. Garret Graves is the incumbent. He has five opponents – two Republicans, two Democrats, and one Libertarian.
Graves has $1.5 million in his campaign fund.
While most of the opponents of incumbents pose little threat, it still creates a problem because they have to spend money and campaign to show voters they are not taking their re-election for granted.

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Lou Gehrig Burnett

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


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