Wednesday, 03 October 2012 06:12

Pinsonat, Jindal revolution, Teepell and the skewed-poll claim

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Lacapitol-red-blueThe recent Southern Media and Opinion Research Inc, (SMOR) poll, financed by conservative businessman and strong  Republican Lane Grigsby, which was released Tuesday measuring Louisiana's political temperature, revealed a climate change in the reddest of red states. 


Not only did it show that Louisiana has, even if temporarily, embraced some of the politics of the democratic party but now has chosen US Senator Mary Landrieu to be the most popular statewide official in a sea of Republicans.   Landrieu, is the only Democratic state elected official who has made an amazing comeback after being fervently denounced by many Louisiana voters for her vote for the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare. 

Perhaps one of the most surprising turn of events are the poll numbers for Bobby Jindal and for his initiatives. Last year, Jindal polled 64% favorable in the October SMOR poll.  Weeks later, against almost non-existent competition, Jindal captured 65% of vote in the gubernatorial election. 

So, given these confusing times where political blood red appears to be cooking a slight medium rare on the edges, I asked Bernie Pinsonat of SMOR--what do these numbers mean to the future of the "Jindal revolution" and a public claim by Governor Jindal's long-time political advisor, Timmy Teepell that the poll is skewed:   

Q: As the SMOR poll has revealed, Governor Bobby Jindal’s “favorable”  have dropped to 51%, a  13% drop in just one year.  The voters do not want any budget cuts.  They don’t like the way he has handled the Obama Medicaid program.  They don’t like his travels.  They don’t like his control over the legislature and want legislative independence.  They like his education reform but not crazy about the most important element, the vouchers.  They don’t have confidence that healthcare is going to get better with his changes.  They even prefer, by a narrow margin, that the Congress be controlled by Democrats which flies in the face of his national efforts.  So, given this state of affairs, how does he continue to privatize government, reform education and healthcare if he doesn’t have the same clout, and since he is lame-ducked and with the public wanting the legislature to acquire some muscles? 

A: Jindal is not going to propose more privatizing of government and I seriously doubt he is going to propose further reforms to K thru 12 education. The exception being he has to make changes to Charity and he has no choice because of a lack of money. As Governor, he gets the blame for cuts to budget, but he has refused to make deeper cuts that some republicans want.  His failing right now is too explain what is going to happen to charity and this is doing most of damage to his popularity with democrats.  His hiring of political appointees at huge salaries is not helping. This survey is made up of all voters – not likely voters who actually vote in most elections. Governor Jindal’s popularity decreased a couple of years ago and he was able to improve his popularity with lots of public appearances on proposals that were popular. Can he do that again?  Probably so, but his options are now limited because of the growing independence of the legislature.      

Q: Timmy Teepell, Jindal’s former Chief of Staff and his current Chief of Politics--now that he has moved into the private sector as a political consultant has questioned the validity and bias of this recent SMOR Poll as many Romney supporters have been doing lately to polls showing Obama pulling ahead of the Republican in a number of critical swing states.  According to the TP, “noting that it currently only gives Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney a 45 - 39 lead over President Barack Obama. While he said he hasn't looked at the details in the poll, Teepell said that narrow margin calls the entire poll into question.

"Any poll in Louisiana that has Obama within six points of Romney I don't take seriously," he said. "That's skewed pretty far to the left." 

A: This survey shows President Barack Obama getting only twenty one percent of all white voters, which is what he received when he lost Louisiana to John McCain. So how is this survey slanted to democrats?  Plus this survey has President Barack Obama receiving a 70- percent plus negative job rating from all white voters. Only twenty one percent of all whites in Louisiana give the president a positive job rating. If this survey is slanted with white leaning democrats – why is the President doing so poorly in this survey with all white voters. Mitt Romney is not overwhelmingly popular in Louisiana and this survey reflects this. He will win Louisiana with lots of whites voting against President Obama rather than for Mitt Romney. 

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