Monday, 08 October 2012 14:47

Magellan BR poll vs. SMOR Louisiana-Romney, Obama, Landrieu results

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romney-obama-smallAccording to the conservative Magellan BR poll released today, Mitt Romney will win in a landslide, over half of the respondents prefer someone other than Sen. Mary Landrieu and Senator Vitter leads Mitch Landrieu by over five points. 

The poll is at odds with one conducted by Bernie Pinsonat and Southern Media Opinion and Research Inc, that was released last week which showed a much smaller gap between Obama and Romney and that found Senator Mary Landrieu was the most popular statewide public official. That poll was conducted by conservative businessman Lane Grigsby.
While one conservative publication appears to be claiming that Magellan’s poll is accurate and the Southern Media and Opinion Research poll should not be trusted,  at the minimum, there could be a less sinister reason for the variance between the two polls.  That reason could be that there is a difference in the polling criteria, thus, the two polls actually measured different pool of voters so one would expect different results since there is a difference in the purpose of the poll altogether.  
According to Pinsonat, his poll is an issue-oriented poll and thus he polls voters. One major value of the poll is making comparisons of poll results as the poll is conducted every six months using the same criteria.
For example, Jindal’s popularity dropped in low double digits compared to roughly the same time last year.
In an email interview, Pinsonat said last week, “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.

Below is the press release from Magellan and a link to the poll results followed by the press release by SMOR along with a link to the poll results:

Magellan Strategies BR today released the survey results of an automated survey of 2,682 likely voters. The survey was conducted October 2nd through October 4th. The margin of error for a survey of this size is 1.9%. The study measures voter opinion among a wide array of issues and election contests, including the upcoming Presidential, 2014 U.S. Senate and 2015 Gubernatorial matchups.
The survey finds Mitt Romney leading President Obama by 22 points (59% Romney/36% Obama/5% undecided). The presidential ballot tracks very closely to the 2008 presidential election results (58.6% McCain/39.9% Obama).
Also tested was the upcoming 2014 U.S. Senate race. The survey finds that over 50% of respondents would prefer a new candidate over current U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu. Only 32.7% of those questioned would definitely vote to reelect Louisiana’s senior Senator.
In a hypothetical matchup for the 2015 Louisiana gubernatorial contest, U.S. Senator David Vitter leads a field of six potential candidates. Vitter and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu were the only tested candidates to receive more than ten percent support. Additionally in a head-to-head matchup, Vitter leads Landrieu by over 5 percentage points (45.2% Vitter/39.8% Landrieu/15% Undecided).  Link



Budget Cuts Unpopular in Latest SMOR Survey

BATON ROUGE, La. - This year's budget cuts, especially to state funded health care, are proving unpopular with Louisiana voters, according to Southern Media & Opinion Research Inc.'s latest statewide survey.

Sixty-eight percent of survey respondents said the budget has been cut enough. Forty-three percent said the cuts have had a negative impact on their family, 36 percent among Republicans.

Reductions for the LSU-operated charity hospital system are particularly unpopular. Eighty-nine percent said they were concerned by the cuts. Seventy-nine percent said the charity system would not be able to provide the same quality of health care, and 80 percent said Louisiana residents would lose access to health care as a result.

The poll shows Gov. Bobby Jindal with a 51 percent approval rating. That compares with 61 percent last spring and 64 percent a year ago. While the governor still has strong support among fellow Republicans, a majority of Democrats in the latest poll said his job performance was "not so good" or "poor."

Developed and conducted by Southern Opinion & Media Research, the poll included telephone interviews with 600 randomly selected Louisiana voters Sept. 11-20. The margin of error is plus or minus 4 percentage points at a 95 percent level of confidence.

Among the poll's other findings:

  • Regarding this year's education reforms, 69 percent of respondents support increasing standards for teacher tenure, while 73 percent support increased teacher accountability and 56 percent support increased control for principals. On the issue of school vouchers, 54 percent were opposed.
  • Salaries for state executives and political appointees were a hot button issue with 86 percent saying annual salaries of $175,000 and above are excessive or not justified.
  • 47 percent favor eliminating tax exemptions to increase state revenue compared to 35 percent opposed, which tracks with widespread opposition to deeper budget cuts.
  • 69 percent said the Legislature should be more independent from the governor.
  • On this fall's presidential race, 45 percent said they would vote for Republican Mitt Romney, 39 percent favor the Democratic incumbent Barack Obama and 17 percent were undecided.

This survey was funded by Lane Grigsby in an effort to share the thoughts of the electorate with Louisiana elected officials. Grigsby has committed to underwriting a Louisiana voter survey biannually. For more information and to view the complete survey results, visit

Southern Media & Opinion Research
Fall 2012 Survey Analysis

Additional budget cuts unwanted
The survey shows 68 percent of respondents don't want additional cuts to the state's operating budget. Forty-three percent say they've been impacted by the spending cuts.

Two thirds said they were aware of cuts to the state's charity hospital system, and 89 percent said they're somewhat or very concerned about them. When asked whether the charity system can still deliver the same quality of patient care, 79 percent said no. Eighty percent said Louisiana residents would lose access to health care through the charity system.

Political impacts of budget cuts
Budget reductions, especially those to the charity hospital system - one of the state's most treasured government institutions - are pushing white Democrats away from Republicans who control the Legislature and most statewide elected offices. Additional cuts could reverse the success Republicans have seen in attracting white Democrats to vote for them.

Forty-one percent of respondents said they most often agree with the actions of the Republican Party. While 49 percent of respondents were registered Democrats, only 37 percent said they agree with actions of the Democratic Party. Government reform and spending cuts are historically popular, though that can't be said of the charity hospital system. Most voters, even the wealthiest, said they're concerned those cuts will affect the quality of health care that charity hospitals provide.

Jindal's job ratings
Over the past five years, Gov. Bobby Jindal has received high job performance ratings from Republicans and most white Democrats. The latest survey shows that while Jindal still gets high ratings from 78 percent of Republicans, 63 percent of Democrats rate his performance as "not so good" or "poor."

Overall, he has a positive job rating of 51 percent compared to a 45 percent negative rating. That compares with a 61 percent approval last spring and 64 percent approval a year ago. The latest survey likely reflects dissatisfaction over the administration's budget cuts, education reforms opposed by teachers and attempts to reform state employee retirement systems and privatize state prisons. Forty-three percent of respondents said this year's budget cuts have negatively impacted their families, including 36 percent among Republicans.

Education reforms
Asked about this year's education reforms, 26 percent of respondents voiced support compared to 39 percent opposed, while 35 percent were undecided. When asked about specific measures, however, respondents favored several, including increased teacher accountability, higher standards for teachers becoming tenured and giving school principals more control. On the issue of school vouchers, 54 percent were opposed.

Legislative independence
While Jindal's popularity fell with residents' displeasure over budget cuts, it's not surprising that 69 percent of respondents said the Legislature should be more independent from the governor.

Big salaries for state employees
The survey showed that salaries for political appointees and state executives are becoming a hot button issue, especially against the backdrop of significant cuts to the charity hospital system. Eighty-six percent of respondents said that salaries over $175,000 are excessive or not justified. Many residents are questioning how state government can afford these salaries in light of cuts to health care and higher education. The results hint at how the issue of high salaries for political appointees could play a role in the 2015 governor's race.

National politics
The survey shows President Barack Obama remains unpopular with most Louisiana voters, though the 2012 election may not be as lopsided as 2008. When respondents were asked which political party they prefer to control Congress, the results were virtually even between Democrats and Republicans.

Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu has the highest job performance of any statewide elected official. While this bodes well for her heading into a 2014 reelection bid, the survey shows that her vote for President Obama's health care reform could be a major obstacle. In addition, a Republican challenger could benefit from a lower turnout, since 2014 falls outside the presidential cycle.

Respondents were evenly divided on Jindal's decision to not participate in the Affordable Care Act. The results of this survey question illustrates why the governor is losing support among white Democrats, since 58 percent of those respondents said they disagree with his decision.

By a slight majority, respondents said they opposed Louisiana governors getting involved in national politics. About 63 percent of Republicans support governors' involvement, while 61 percent of Democrats are opposed.

Eliminating tax exemptions
Most respondents said they favor eliminating tax exemptions to increase state revenue. The result is not surprising, considering attitudes toward additional budget cuts.

Respondents generally rated their parish tax assessor favorably. When asked how much of the property in their own parish is valued below its actual worth, 56 percent said "most" or "some." Only 31 percent said they knew whether property assessments were available online.

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