I thought I’d offer a quick take on new numbers from Public Policy Polling. The survey was taken February 6-9 and includes 635 Louisiana voters. It is worth keeping in mind that Public Policy Polling is a Democratic polling firm. You can look at the full set of results here:
- The new numbers show Senator Mary Landrieu leading Representative Bill Cassidy by a slim 45-44 margin. That is a one-point lead and a reelect number below 50 percent, both are troubling but entirely expected. This is a midterm year, typically a bad year for the president’s party, and Senator Landrieu is running in an increasingly red state. If I were working for the Landrieu campaign what would trouble me more is not the tightening of the election but the intrusion of national politics into a race she wants to make about Louisiana. The more local the race becomes, the better she will do.
- Not all the news is good for Republicans. When asked to rate Representative Cassidy, 50 percent of Louisiana voters still don’t know who he is while only 25 percent rate him favorably. This means a healthy percentage of the electorate is “hypothetically” voting for someone other than Mary Landrieu. They just don’t know who. By the end of this election, Bill Cassidy will be better defined, but it is not clear who will do the defining and whether the definition will work in his favor.
- As further evidence, consider that in head-to-head match-ups, Paul Hollis and Rob Maness each get 42 percent of the vote. Take this as the floor for Republican support in the election. Bill Cassidy is only marginally above the floor (and is within the margin of error).
- In a multiple candidate ballot that also includes Paul Hollis and Rob Maness (as well as Landrieu and Cassidy), Cassidy receives 25 percent of the vote while Paul Hollis receives 8 percent and Rob Maness receives 3 percent. A quarter of voters, 25 percent, say they are unsure or don’t know. These “don’t know” voter could go to any of the potential candidates or they could just stay home. Either way, they’ll decide the election.
- The best number in the survey is the Phil Robertson number. In a head-to-head match-up, Duck Dynasty’s Robertson leads Landrieu by a 46-42 margin. Louisiana political observers may be scratching their heads over that one, surprised that Robertson isn’t leading by even more. Despite his lead in the head-to-head, he might have trouble making the run-off. He only gets 13 percent when all the candidates are in the race.