Filed Under:  Politics

Different polls disagree on possible gubernatorial run-off candidates

29th September 2015   ·   0 Comments

By Christopher Tidmore
Contributing Writer

The two most recent polls in the Louisiana Governor’s race continue to predict a Republican v. Democratic runoff between US Senator David Vitter and State Rep. John Bel Edwards, but another outlying poll suggests that GOP Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle still has a shot of making a runoff.

The newest Triumph Campaigns poll puts Democrat Edwards out to a fairly decent lead over Republican Vitter 36%-29%, with Angelle at 12% and GOP Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne at a near tie at 11%. This would leave neither of the latter two men within reasonable striking distance of a runoff.

Its findings run counter to the latest survey from Causeway Solutions which had Vitter at 24% and Angelle at 21%, with Edwards, statistically tied, but barely behind at 20%. Dardenne comes in at 10%. Causeway polled a hypothetical runoff, as well, finding Angelle up double digits on Vitter 43%-32%.

One could question the latter survey’s credibility, since the Causeway poll was paid for by Louisiana Rising, a pro-Angelle super PAC. Save, however, that veteran pollster Verne Kennedy saw a rising strength in Angelle a few weeks ago. Kennedy’s Market Research Insight (MRI) fielded a poll August 24-26 where, unlike Causeway, Democratic State Rep. John Bel Edwards comes in first with 35%.

Vitter, though, only bests Angelle 22%-19% for the second spot, effectively tied almost within the statistical margin of error. The findings mirror a July MRI poll where Edwards ranked at 34%, Angelle tied with at Vitter 22%, and Dardenne rounding out the field at 12%. Kennedy defended his findings, noting that MRI more strongly weights African-American turnout than other surveys, reflecting voting patterns in more recent elections in the Obama era where the percentage of Black turnout has often equaled the Caucasian community.

However, every other poll conducted in 2015 has pretty much guaranteed a Vitter-Edwards runoff, just as Triumph Campaigns have predicted. The newest MarblePort poll for the local blog The Hayride, for example, shows Vitter leading Edwards 29%-26%, with Angelle at 15 % and Dardenne at 14%, effectively the same as the other last four surveys by other pollsters.

As the gubernatorial campaigns enter the final weeks until the October 24 primary, the Louisiana Water Coalition reminds the voters that Vitter kept an aide on staff for two years arrested for battery, a targeted campaign of the movement.

Fourth place finisher Jay Dardenne begins his first major ad buy this coming week. Dardenne has followed a strategy similar to former Gov. Buddy Roemer, keeping his more limited hard money resources liquid until the final weeks of the campaign, where he can paper the airwaves with TV, equaling the ad purchases of the frontrunner.

Vitter himself has ads on TV and radio each individually attacking Edwards, Dardenne, and Angelle, while at the same time, running spots where a lady who needed health insurance was helped by the incumbent Senator. Edwards and Angelle, after some negative spots, have moved to airing positive with self-narrated 30-second spots featuring smiling, applauding audiences.

This article originally published in the September 28, 2015 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.

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