Tuesday, 02 April 2019 18:49

GOP gubernatorial candidates have heavy-lifting to unseat John Bel Edwards

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If you are Businessman Eddie Rispone or Congressman Ralph Abraham (one of the two Republican candidates) intending to unseat Governor John Bel Edwards for the rights to the state capitol’s 4th floor, you have some heavy lifting to do.

And, if you are running for political office this year or working on a political campaign, reading the just-released 2019 Louisiana Survey, a project of the Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs of LSU, is a must-do.

 

Not that Edwards is unbeatable. Oil prices could take a significant stumble. A national issue such as healthcare, or immigration could explode as the reaction to domestic and international terror did in the last gubernatorial race or as Obamacare did during the early part of the decade.

The top line result is that 47% of the residents believe the state is heading in the right direction, an increase of 8 percent from last year. Those feeling the state is heading in the wrong direction dropped by 7 percent.

Of course, this is before the Louisiana legislature meets and you know what can happen there.

Interestingly, education, the economy, roads and infrastructure and the budget are the most important issues for voters.   But the hot-button social issues that have rocked various statewide elections in the past are at the rock-bottom in importance-- immigration, abortion or reproductive rights, gun issues and racism or race issues.

Perhaps a weak spot for the administration might be in the area of confidence the Colleges and Universities. Compared to prior surveys of the past, 70% gave the universities an A or a B in 2011 which number dropped to 64 percent prior to the last governor’s race. Today, only 61 percent rate it A or B. However, the 25% of the voters give public education an A or a B in this survey which is a substantial climb from 18 percent.

Here are select comments from the survey:  

RIGHT/WRONG DIRECTION OF THE STATE

As Louisiana approaches elections this fall, more residents say the state is heading in the right direction. Forty-seven percent of Louisiana residents say the state is heading in the right direction, up from 39 percent a year ago (see figure 1). The share saying the state is heading in the wrong direction fell from 50 percent in 2018 to 43 percent today. Assessments of the state are often correlated with a person’s partisan leaning. People who share the same party identification as the governor tend to view the direction of the state more positively than people do in the opposite party.

Unsurprisingly, Democrats are especially positive in their view: 55 percent say the state is heading in the right direction and 37 percent say it is heading in the wrong direction. Perhaps less expected, Republicans do not take an especially negative view of the state’s direction under the administration of Democratic governor John Bel Edwards. They split evenly between those who say the state is heading in the right direction (46 percent) and those who say the state is heading in the wrong direction (45 percent).

EDUCATION AT THE TOP

Once again, education tops the list of most frequently mentioned issues. The economy, transportation infrastructure, and the state budget round out the top four most frequently mentioned issues, but in a slightly different order than when asked to name up to five problems.

OTHER FINDINGS

Confidence in state government to solve important problems remains low

State residents have a dimmer view of the state’s economy than of their own financial situation

Views of public schools improve, but hold steady or slip for other services

Most want political compromise, but few expect to see it

Read 1672 times Last modified on Wednesday, 03 April 2019 15:29
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