Thursday, 23 January 2014 18:51

New Orleans elections wrap: endorsements, poll and opinion

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BagnerisCampaignThe New Orleans elections is getting closer, now less than ten days away.

Who’s winning? Who is supporting whom?  Here is a summary of news, endorsements and an opinion from one of the region’s best-known PR and political experts, Cheron Brylski: 


LIFE, Political Organization Founded by Mayor Dutch Morial, Endorses Bagneris for Mayor

On Friday, the Louisiana Independent Federation of Electors (LIFE) revealed that they endorse Michael Bagneris for mayor of New Orleans. Since it was founded by Dutch Morial in 1967, LIFE has been involved in local elections.  According to a statement from LIFE, Bagneris “has his finger on the pulse on the people of our city. He listens to people and respects stakeholders (...) and knows how government can make a difference in all of our lives.” Bagneris notes that he was honored and proud to have the support of LIFE, “one of the city’s most respected and influential political organizations.” The list of other organizations that have announced that they support Bagneris includes Orleans Parish Democratic Executive Committee, the New Orleans Republican Parish Executive Committee, the Independent Women’s Organization (IWO), the Black Organization for Leadership Development (BOLD), the Southern Organization for Unified Leadership (SOUL), and the Treme Improvement Political Society (TIPS). 


Summary by Cheron Brylski

 NEW ORLEANS - Below contains a comprehensive but brief breakdown of a recent poll commissioned that tested four Orleans Parish races-Mayor, Sheriff, Council-At-Large Division 1, and Council-At-Large Division 2. It was administered using IVR survey technology and recorded responses for six questions, which included demographic questions.

The poll consisted of four trial heats. The major take-away is that this election is not a change election. All incumbent members or perceived incumbent members have substantial leads against their challengers. Landrieu, Head, and Morrell are headed to a clear victory. Gusman is headed to a first-place finish in the first round.

Mayoral Race. Of the 606 respondents in the question on the mayoral race, Mayor Landrieu currently has a significant lead against his opponents. If the election were held today, Landrieu would lead his closest contender by a margin of 55% to 18%. Landrieu leads in all demographics throughout  the  City.  Landrieu's  largest  lead  is with white voters, where his support is at 75%. He garners 52% of the black  vote against  Bagneris'  27%. 

Currently, no indication exist to show that Bagneris has been able to coalesce the black vote even after weeks of campaign. Barring a "game-changer"  or a more effective campaign by Bagneris to racializing the electorate, Landrieu is headed to another victory. 

Sheriff's  Race.  Incumbent Sheriff Marlin Gusman currently leads the field with the slimmest margin of the four city-wide races tested. On one hand, Gusman leads Foti with 33% of the vote to   Foti's   25%.   Ira   Thomas   currently   receives   15%   of   the   vote.   With   regards   to   the   black   vote,   Gusman currently captures 47% of that vote. Foti and Thomas receives 13% and 20% of the black vote, respectively. On the other hand, Gusman trails Foti with regards to the white vote. Foti currently captures 40% of the white vote. Gusman takes 20%, and Thomas receives 12% of the white vote. 

Like the other four races tested, the incumbent or perceived incumbent candidate currently holds a  lead.  However,  unlike  the  other  four  races,  Gusman's  lead  is  much  smaller-the only single digit lead. Additionally. Gusman receives less than 35% of the vote-the smallest percentage of current leaders. With that being said, Gusman does have a lead, but with Thomas pulling a significant  chunk  of  the  black  vote  and  the  white  vote,  the  Orleans  Parish  Sheriff's  race  is  likely   headed to a March 15th runoff. 

Council-At-Large Division One. One clear example that the electorate is not racialized is white Councilmember  Stacy  Head's  performance  against  her  black  challenger  Eugene  Green.  Overall, Head leads Green 54% to 21%, a slight smaller lead than Mayor Landrieu. 

The most revealing part of this question is  Head's  performance  with  minority  voters  in  the  City.   As expected, Head leads among white voters 84% to 7%--a larger lead than the Mayor. Surprisingly, Head is currently capturing approximately 28% of black voters' support and 42% of other ethnic groups. Head only slightly trails against Green with black voters by a margin of 28% to 36%. As a comparison, in Head's  slim  victory  in  the  2012  At-Large election, Head received only 13% of the black vote citywide. 

Similar to Landrieu, barring a substantial misstep by Stacy Head, she is likely to be re-elected by overwhelming support from the white community and a strong performance in the black community. 

Council-At-Large Division Two. Even a race that many political handicappers predict would be the closest race of the four races tested-Councilwoman Cynthia Morrell leads her two black male challengers-Freddie Charbonnet and Jason Williams-by a significantly large margin. Morrell leads with 40% of the vote. Williams comes in second with 17% of the vote, and Charbonnet stands in last at 12%. Of voters that decided, Morrell's  lead  balloons  to  58%  of  the   vote  compared  to  Williams'  24%  and  Charbonnet's  18%. 

Like incumbents Landrieu and Head, Morrell, as the perceived incumbent in this race, has created a significant racial coalition and directly attributes to her 23pt lead. In fact, Morrell leads in every racial demographic. Morrell's  largest  lead  is  among  African  American  voters.  She  leads African American voters with 50% with Williams receiving 16% of the vote, and Charbonnet receives 13% of the African American vote. 

Morrell does not perform as well as Landrieu or Head with regards to white vote but still leads among white voters two to one relative to her closest competitor. Over 31% of white voters select Morrell. Williams receives approximately 19% of the white vote, and Charbonnet captures only 12% of the white vote. 

With large amount of high undecideds this late in the election cycle, undecided voters are likely to stay home or reflect the current makeup of the rest of the electorate based on historic polling trends. As a result, the current state of the race points to a statistically significant lead for Morrell and a probable outright win for Morrell.  

Again, this prediction is based on a stable race as candidates enter the final two weeks of the campaign.”


Elected officials from across New Orleans endorsed Mayor Mitch Landrieu for re-election.  Landrieu has received support from President Barack Obama, Times-Picayune, Gambit, the Alliance for Good Government, the Greater New Orleans AFL-CIO, the Regular Democratic Organization, the Independent Women’s Organization (IWO), the Forum for Equality, the Independent Democratic Electors Association (IDEA), Young Adults Political Association (YAPA), Citizens for Accountable Government, Algiers PAC, and dozens of influential neighborhood and faith-based leaders.


Today, well over 800 women will joined Mayor Mitch Landrieu for an early vote luncheon in support of his re-election. The luncheon highlighted the importance of taking advantage of the early voting period, which continues through Saturday, January 25.   The event was held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.

Bayoubuzz Staff

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