As part of a continuing post-election series with Louisiana's premier pollster and political consultant, Bernie Pinsonat of Southern Media and Opinion Research (SMOR), we asked him the following question regarding her re-election prospects. Here is Part I of our Fall post-election series of "Bernie Burns".
BAYOUBUZZ: You said over a year ago that Mary Landrieu would be in the fight of her life. She has an uphill battle. Can she win and if she can, how?
PINSONAT: Most political pundits, including myself, discussed the possibility republicans would somehow help Senator Landrieu by committing mistakes or gaffes. This did not happen; in fact just the opposite occurred. Landrieu’s campaign was never in high gear- it was a campaign stuck in a time warp around nineteen eighty. The Landrieu ground game did absolutely nothing but waste time and money. Landrieu’s campaign minions day after day pushed news accounts of their huge early voting totals. Really, did your pollster not mention this essential fact – for the last eighteen months Senator Landrieu has been stuck on a very important number - twenty percent!
For the last eighteen months, most surveys showed Senator Landrieu with about twenty percent of all white voters. Twenty percent of white voters and ninety seven percent of black voters total forty two percent which was her vote total election night. About eighty percent of white voters opposed Obama’s stimulus, same eighty percent opposed Obama care and again eighty percent did not vote for Obama, Melancon or Landrieu.
Louisiana is a very red state because this eighty percent that actually votes in most elections is anti-national Democratic Party and their policies. Can Landrieu’s campaign pull off a big upset? Democrats spent tens of millions touting Landrieu’s seniority and attacking Bill Cassidy. Yet she did not gain one additional white voter.
Statewide campaigns based in Orleans are out of touch. I think it is called passé. The only thing missing from Mary Landrieu’s New Orleans election night event was a banner proclaiming “Orleans Parish - home of liberal democrats in Louisiana”.
How can she win – convince eighty percent of white voter she will go back to DC and vote with republicans to roll over President Obama and pass the Keystone pipeline legislation for starters. Another is to join republicans and roll over President Obama and remove his medical device tax. This would be a good start and of course smart politics in red state Louisiana. I am guessing and would bet most of Landrieu’s campaign staff voted for President Obama and or campaigned for him. This suggestion is very important – fire the upper echelon of your campaign staff! They are totally out of touch with most voters outside of Orleans parish.
Part 2 of Bernie Burns--Pinsonat: Edwin Edwards under-performed, is long-shot for US Congress