Pollster Bernie Pinsonat, radio host Jeff Crouere, and Bayoubuzz.com publisher Stephen Sabludowsky discussed these topics in yesterday’s WGSO program/hangout. Read the transcription above or watch the video.
Crouere: Bernie, Colonel Rob Maness, who we're going to be hearing from next, his endorsement from Sarah Palin. How big was that, if at all, for his campaign?
Pinsonat: I hate to comment on stuff like that since I haven't polled it. It might help him. The bottom line is that when you get to two-three million dollars, especially in a race like this where it's going to take ten-twelve-fourteen million dollars...You got to have money to tell people who's endorsing you; you got to have money for radio ads. Last time I looked, the TV stations in New Orleans are pretty expensive. I do polls for a living, and obviously, I know; I've been doing this for a long time. Running for the United States Senate, if you don't two-three-four-five million dollars, you're at a huge disadvantage. I've never seen anyone make the runoffs with less than a million dollars to spend in a Senate race. Realistically, if you're not at three or four million dollars when these two heavyweights, that's what they are, one's in Congress and an incumbent US Senator start really spending big dollars, and you don't have it, you fall by the wayside. It's not what I think; it's what happens.
Crouere: Steve, your thoughts?
Sabludowsky: Bernie's right. As far as I'm concerned, I think that Rob Maness is a very nice guy. He's a very decent guy, it seems. I think that maybe she helps out, in terms of the former Governor, Palin, she may help out in terms of that particular base. He's at, what, 7% according to Bernie's poll. All, in all, do I think that it helps her with the other population? Absolutely not. I think that Sarah Palin is a real negative, except for that particular base.
Crouere: Bernie, if you could highlight the numbers for all the different candidates in your poll? You said Landrieu was at 36%.
Pinsonat: Yeah, Congressman Cassidy was 35%. Hollis is 2% and Maness, I think Steve's right, I don't have the poll in front of me, but...about 7%. That'll change, though, very quickly, when they start spending money. If Maness has two or three million dollars to sustain a big TV buy, then he has a chance to move up. The Republicans are, you know, they have an advantage in this state because we here are so red-shifted. If you're a Republican and you got a lot of money, you're going to compete with Landrieu. At the present time, if you're Mary Landrieu - 98% of the people know her; she's been in the United States Senate almost eighteen years; she's just finishing her third term - and you're at 36% and your negatives are upside down, close to 60% negative, that means that they think you're doing a not so good or poor job. Mary literally needs some help. Everybody knows her, and they're not giving her a good job performance rating. Only 36% of the people are voting for her. That poll was taken last week. Whatever you want to say about it, it was then. It's not a picture of five-six months from now. I can say that she's in serious trouble, facing a really tough reelection battle because of the demographics in Louisiana. That kinda sums it up.
Crouere: Our friend Paul from Kenner is with us. Hey, Paul, how are you, good morning.
Paul: Good morning, gentlemen. You know, one thing I hear, Jeff, you're saying, no more Bush. I say "no more Landrieu." She's been in there three terms. We know what she stands for, and she's not for life. A lot of her policies have been not that great for Louisiana. I don't think she's going to win. And Mr. Maness is not afraid to come out and say that he's 100% pro-life. I like a politician who's not afraid to speak up on the life issues. So anyway. I was motivated to call, Jeff, because you talked about this legislator that instead of shaking hands, he kissed his aide. You know, it's as if he's caught in bed with her, impregnating her or something. What is this? The fact that he's going back and trying to run again. If that's how you try to put your family back together, you're going for a job that you know and have done and it pays well. Isn't that pretty indicating that he's going to try to put his family back together?
Crouere: I mean, should he continue to be going back and forth between Washington and his district when he's got five kids and a wife, and he just embarrassed her and his kids by kissing a married aide right outside of his office when that aide was a good friend of his? He didn't even tell the husband of the aide. The husband said that his whole Christian rhetoric was just phony and just for the election. Don't you think he's got some soul searching to do? Maybe he's got some higher priorities than politics? He didn't commit a crime, but I think he actually did something that was morally wrong. I think he should focus on other things than running for Congress. But I guess the voters will decide because, Bernie, he just announced that he might actually run again in the fifth congressional district. So that was sort of a surprising note because earlier, he said he wasn't going to run. Where do you think things stand with Vance McAllister?
Pinsonat: Well, I'm like anybody else. I'm not shocked by that announcement. Nothing will shock you. As far as this particular Congressman, the problem with him running for reelection...Look, there are people who get elected because of rumors, innuendos, or even outright claims against them. They may admit transgressions and ask for forgiveness. But he has a different problem than most politicians. There's a video. Videos are extremely detrimental to you being reelected. No matter what you say, no matter what you claim your intentions are...When that video is run continuously in ad after ad, it tends to cause you serious problems of getting reelected. The bottom line is that it's very hard to get reelected when there's visual evidence, called a tape, showing you with someone that you shouldn't be with, who works for you. All this stuff, I would seriously doubt he'll run because that's not, let me say it again..most times when there's a video, you don't get reelected, and you should go do something else. That video, normally, most of the times, nine out of ten times, kills your chances to get reelected.
Crouere: Steve, your thoughts?
Sabludowsky: Basically, what he said was, "I'm going to keep my options open." He said that supporters have told him that he decided too quickly in terms of not to run. I don't know. Who knows what's going on in his mind now, and who knows what went through his mind when he was kissing his friend's wife. Though, it makes for interesting politics.
Pinsonat: I'd like to know how many of these people, who are they, was it 1,000, was it five?
Sabludowsky: It could have been the lady he kissed.
Pinsonat: She's encouraging me to run again. Her husband is on the other side of the street in this issue. He's dead set against it.
Crouere: I feel sorry for the poor husband.