The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Early Outlook Positive for Louisiana GOP


Down in Louisiana, it is an election year, and the firm JMC Enterprises is out with a new survey, looking at the outlook for that state’s legislative elections. The results can be found here; they conclude:

If you were to allocate all of the African-American undecideds to the Democratic column and split the white and “other” undecideds equally between Democrats and Republicans, you’d be looking at a 52-48% preference for GOP legislative candidates. What does this 52% GOP preference mean in terms of the likely size of the GOP legislative delegation after the fall elections?

If we look only at the raw numbers (Note: we’re not considering the quality of the candidates or “game changing” events that would impact the results), even though John Kennedy received 46% of the vote in his 2008 race against Mary Landrieu, he received absolute majorities in 70 out of 144 legislative districts (51 in the House and 19 in the Senate). When David Vitter was re-elected with 57% of the statewide vote last year, he carried 99 legislative districts (72 in the House and 27 in the Senate).

Given these numbers, a 52% GOP statewide vote roughly equates to the GOP winning 63 House seats (a pickup of 8 seats) and 23 Senate seats (a pickup of 1 seat).

JMC lays out a bit about their sampling:

For this poll, we chose a sample of 19,324 likely Louisiana households for an automated poll, and 489 responded to one or more of three poll questions. We chose a “likely voter” model because we believe this will best approximate the 2011 electorate.The survey was conducted June 28-July 2. The margin of error, with a 95% confidence interval, was 4.38%. The racial breakdown of the electorate was 71-28% white. This demographic breakdown closely approximates the 2010 electorate (27% African-American), and we believe it is the most reasonable model to use for this year’s electorate.

Of course, all of the standard caveats apply – it’s early, party loyalty is sometimes weaker in state legislative elections, quality of candidates matters, etc.

In other Louisiana news, the Democrats have now found a candidate to run against Gov. Bobby Jindal: Tara Hollis, a public school teacher from Haynesville, Louisiana.

Tags: Bobby Jindal , Louisiana , Tara Hollis


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