On the heels of one shocking poll comes another. Last week we reported on a poll conducted by Baton Rouge pollster Southern Media and Opinion Research (SMOR).
Now comes a poll from JMC Analytics and Polling,, headed up by John Couvillion of Baton Rouge. But there is a big difference. The SMOR poll was an independent poll, paid for by businessmen, lobbyists, and others.
The JMC poll was apparently paid for by the John Fleming campaign, according to Steve Sabludowsky of Bayoubuzz.com and Tyler Bridges, a reporter for the Baton Rouge Advocate.
Republican Fleming was up six points from the SMOR poll, coming in at 14%. Republican State Treasurer John Kennedy fell all the way to 11%, down from 17% in the SMOR poll.
Republican U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany was tied for the top spot with Democrat Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell at 15%.
Here are the results of the JMC poll. The result of the SMOR poll is in parentheses so you can see the difference.
Charles Boustany (R) – 15% (15.2%),
Foster Campbell (D) – 15% (9.2%).
John Fleming (R) – 14% (8.3%).
Caroline Fayard (D) – 12% (11.4%).
John Kennedy (R) – 11% (16.9%).
Rob Maness (R) – 4% (3.3%).
David Duke (R) – 3% (3.1%).
Undecided – 25% (26%).
Both polls continue to show a large number of voters are still undecided. But what is different in the JMC poll is the six-point drop in Kennedy’s numbers. SMOR pointed out in its poll that Kennedy has not yet begun his television advertising.
The other big changes involve Fleming and Campbell. Fleming gained six points. That could be because he has been on TV with ads in markets around the state.
Campbell has picked up six points as well. That could be because of some major endorsements in New Orleans and the recent endorsement of the Sierra Club, which could account for his bump.
The SMOR poll was conducted September 15-17 and the JMC poll was taken September 22-24.
According to the JMC poll, the allegations made in the book “Murder in the Bayou,” where Boustany is said to have had relations with prostitutes, has not resonated with voters. At least, not yet.
What is derived from both polls is that the Senate race continues to be a five-person race. Republicans Rob Maness and David Duke continue to be mired down in single digits.
Boustany, Fleming, and Kennedy are battling it out to capture the Republican vote, while Campbell and Fayard fight over the Democratic vote.
Can two Republicans wind up in the runoff? Possibly But the GOP candidates are splitting the vote among five candidates while the Democrats are dividing the vote among two candidates. So the conventional wisdom is that it will be a Republican and a Democrat in the runoff.
Maness, Duke left out
As we have said, the U.S. Senate contest appears to be a five-person race. Louisiana Public Broadcasting and the Council for a Better Louisiana (CABL) agrees.
For the first statewide televised debate, retired Air Force Col. Rob Maness and white supremacist David Duke did not make the cut, both Republicans.
Those who made the field for the October 18 debate include: U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany, R-Lafayette; Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell, D-Elm Grove; attorney Caroline Fayard, D-New Orleans; U.S. Rep. John Fleming, R-Minden; and state Treasurer John Kennedy, R-Madisonville.
CABL President Barry Erwin said the cutoff for those chosen was 5% in the most recent Southern Media and Opinion Research poll and who have raised at least $1 million in campaign cash.
The 5% has been the LPB and CABL standard for years, but the $1 million mark has increased from $250,000.
Maness was furious. He called the $1 million threshold “unheard of and outrageous.” He noted that his campaign along with the support of Super PACs would exceed that requirement.
“I’m angry, but it ought to make the voters angry to be deprived of seeing the best candidate in the race,” Maness told USA Today Network of Louisiana.
As for Duke, no comments yet. He is well-known in the state and his turnout will likely not be affected.
Lou Gehrig Burnett is a seasoned veteran of national and local politics. He publishes Fax-Net Update, a weekly political newsletter