Friday, 16 August 2019 12:27

Forecasting the Louisiana gubernatorial horse race: Pinsonat's card

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horsed off capitol 2

And, they're off!!

Well, not actually. If you've been laboring over Louisiana favorite sport lately, the once-every-four-years gubernatorialcampaign, you can rest a spell.  The ponies really haven't even goten up to the starting gate. Not yet.  And that won't take place, according to Louisiana pollster Bernie Pinsonat, until after Labor Day. And when it does arrive and we all collectively wake up and smell the prospects of a real horse race, all bets could be off as to the outcome.

Well, kinda.

We know with almost absolute certainty that the current mansion occupant will be the primary election winner. But by how many lengths or in other words, will there be a runoff? And if so, who will come in "Place" on October 12.to be eligible to compete in the runoff derby?  It appears, at least based upon our interview with Pinsonat, there's no sure bet, at all. 

In other words, Pinsonat feels it's way too early to begin predicting whether Governor John Bel Edwards will be be re-elected come primary night. Who might be lined up along with him is still to early to even come close to call. While Edwards is generally popular or as popular as a Democrat can be in a Republican red state, there are too many factual and political uncertainties.

What are they? And, how;s the turf with less than two months left until primary day? 

Below is part one of my telephone interview earlier this morning with Pinsonat. On Monday, we will publish part two of the Pinsonat racing form.

So once you tell us at this point we're a few months away from the elections. What's your overall impression in terms of just the let's take the governor's race?

Well as a pollster I speak from numbers and present time, you know, the the the polling numbers I'm seeing or some of the candidates or I've seen some so called independents, but they were I guess you could say Robo type calls. I don't have a lot of faith with those. But I think the race, I don't really think anybody knows where we are right now. But unless you're running a you know, unless you ran a poll last night. The question is, can Eddie and Ralph Abraham , Eddie Rispone Ralph Abraham together get enough votes to cause a runoff. And I think it's in the governor Edwards best interest to win in the primary, I don't think you need to be a political scientist to figure out that it would be difficult for him to win in Louisiana in a run off. It would be possible but you know, we don't know what it'll look like, the day after the runoff. But under normal circumstances, it would be difficult. So the real question is can Eddie Rispone and the Ralph combined to get 50 plus percent. And that's the bigger and that's what we just don't know, the Governor is running. massive television now, Rispone is running massive television now. The guy who's at  a disadvantage, but he is running television now is Congressman Ralph Abraham. So you know, if they look at their campaigns and looking at each other from across the street, because they're all separate campaigns, they really need each other, they need for one or both of them to do well. And then the best man win is the way they should be approaching it. Because if one of them doesn't do well, it's now highly unlikely that they would, that Edwards would face a run off. So they need, both of them need to do well. And that's where we are right now. We won't have a better picture that probably till mid September. You know, about a month out. As more of these polls come out and all the ads and people start paying more attention. People are not going to pay a lot of attention to this election till after Labor Day. That's traditional Louisiana. Our campaigns are very short now they last about five weeks, six weeks and maximum. So we're not there yet. The public's not that engaged. And polling right now is probably not that accurate. But the political fact is that John Bel Edwards needs to win in the primary and can he do that? He certainly can. His his he needs he needs Eddie or Ralph to to not catch on, not to pick up a lot of votes especial Rispone is the one that with that kind of money is a real danger to him. Not to say that Ralph isn't but Eddie, he's got so much money, then if his ads are good, and he catches on and he starts, picking  up, you know, large numbers of voters then, you know, that would likely cause a run off. If he goes into the runoff. And he's under 40. Under 45%. It would be highly unlikely the governor would win reelection, but that's speculating past the runoff. And what's important now to the governor and to Eddie and to Ralph is what happens around October 12. And that's going to probably 70%. Whatever happens at the end, that it's probably a 60. Plus, if it's good news for the republicans, it'll certainly be very bad news for Edwards. But he's not worried about the governor's doing what he should be doing the he's worried about October 12. If he can, if he can get his 50.1% he could care less how either of them do, he's done well enough to win another, neither of them have done well enough to cause a run off. So end of story for the republicans and a democrat will occupy the mansion for another four years.

Okay. So based on the polls that you said that you did one last night, do you have any results that you can share? Or…

No, I said unless there was a poll done last night, I don't really think anybody knows what the current status of this race is, unless you have overnight data and then that data is going--will change. Because you Eddie's not known.  Eddie Rispone is not known. The governor is not at 51 or 52% in any poll I've seen-- he could be as of today, but I haven't seen any poll published with that. If he remains under 45% going into the into the primary October 12. It would that would be, that will be interesting to see if he can get from 45 to 51 Sure, it would tend to show that he's probably not going to make it he needs to be closer to 50 to get over 51 especially with the amount of money that starting to be spent attacking him. And and the money that Eddie Rispone has to stay up on TV from now till October 12.  And so, it's a lot of ifs.

Okay, are you saying that the independent polls that you've seen that and most of them you say, or have been Robo, so  you don't trust them as much or at all.

And those that are are, say, candidate polls, that Edwards is not above 45%.

Well, the last poll I saw that was a was a live operator poll was done by john john George's group, and it certainly did not show the governor above 45. It showed him in the low 40s. We we did have a an event occur where there was a lot of the governor was on television a lot. And I'm sure you got a bump from that in his in his job performance. But, you know, since then, is there a poll showing that that bump in top performers push that the total voters that say they're going to vote for him? Did he push it close to 50%? Did it stay at 42? That it get to 45? You know, I haven't seen a live operator poll recently that would enlighten us on the way the race stands right now. But the there was a poll --published by the-- written by Todd Bridges, and it was a focus more on Trump not being as popular Louisiana and his coattails may not be as long which nobody believed by the way. But it it. It did have stuff in the governor's race. That was I didn't think it was great news for the governor because it showed his his reelect and current vote totals below 45%, which for an incumbent governor. And I could say that it's not that good, but you're talking about an incumbent democratic governor of Louisiana who is well financed who is generally popular across the state. But he does have a demo tag on him.

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