Tags: Charlie Melancon

Mocking Melancon’s Released Internals, in Dramatic Form


Picture the polling results in Louisiana’s Senate race between Republican incumbent David Vitter and Democrat Charlie Melancon as a conversation among polling firms:

Rasmussen, PPP, Southern Media/Opinion Research, and Magellan stand together in a crowd, exchanging results.

Pollsters: Vitter’s up by 24, Vitter’s up by 18, Vitter’s up by 9, Vitter’s up by 20, Vitter is up by 18.

Anzalone Liszt, pollster for Democrat Charlie Melancon, suddenly appears and interjects.

Anzalone Liszt: Vitter is only up by one!

(Silence. The other pollsters look at their results again.)

Rasmussen, PPP, Southern Media/Opinion Research, Clarus, Magellan: Vitter is up by 12, Vitter is up by 10, Vitter is up by 21, Vitter is up by 18, Vitter is up by 16 . . .

Anzalone Liszt, frustrated, stands apart from the others. Finally he shakes his fist at the other pollsters.

Anzalone Liszt: Vitter is only up 7!

Tags: Charlie Melancon , David Vitter

Wrapping Up Saturday’s Primaries


Saturday was Primary Day in two states.

West Virginia held its primaries for its special senatorial election; there were no surprises. Gov. Joe Manchin is the Democratic nominee, and John Raese is the GOP senatorial nominee.

Louisiana was a bit more interesting. There had been some rumblings that the scandals in Sen. David Vitter’s past would leave room for a serious primary challenge, and retired State Supreme Court Judge Chet Traylor took a shot. On Saturday, it wasn’t even close; Vitter won 88 percent.

Turnout was low on both sides, but there were actually more votes on the Democratic side, where Rep. Charlie Melancon won.

In Melancon’s seat, a big GOP pickup opportunity, most of the buzz had surrounded Ret. Gen. Hunt Downer. But on primary day, Jeff Landry came oh-so-close to avoiding a runoff, winning just under 50 percent. Their tooth-and-nail fight will continue; the runoff is set for October 2, leaving one month until the general election. The winner takes on Democrat Ravi Sangisetti.

Tags: Charlie Melancon , Chet Taylor , David Vitter , Hunt Downer , Jeff Landry , Joe Manchin , John Raese

I Hope Charlie Melancon Didn’t Pay Too Much for That Poll.


Let’s take a look at the recent polling in Louisiana, pitting incumbent Republican senator David Vitter against Democrat Charlie Melancon, and play “spot the margin that comes from a poll commissioned by Melancon’s campaign”:

  1. Vitter ahead by 9. 
  2. Vitter ahead by 20.
  3. Vitter ahead by 18.
  4. Vitter ahead by 1.
  5. Vitter ahead by 17.
  6. Vitter ahead by 12.

If you said, number four, you’re right!

Tags: Charlie Melancon , David Vitter

Should We Trust Internal Polls? Use Your Gut, I Say.


Charlie Melancon, Democrat of Louisiana, and Elaine Marshall, Democrat of North Carolina, offer polls indicating they have enjoyed surges in their Senate races against, respectively, Sen. David Vitter and Sen. Richard Burr. Melancon’s internal poll has him within 1; Marshall’s has her ahead by 2.

I myself will be waiting to see what other pollsters find; both Vitter and Burr have led consistently by modest to large margins, often double digits. I’ve said in the past, take as many grains of salt as you feel necessary when reading about a poll conducted for a campaign. Some consultants tell me that they never want their internal polls to presume anything too optimistically; they insist they want to be prepared for the worst-case scenarios.

Still, if a campaign’s poll gets released publicly, it usually is designed to demonstrate the candidate’s strength. (Then again, sometimes you’re Blanche Lincoln and you release internal polls showing yourself down 9 because things are so bad, you think 36 percent is a good number for a three-term incumbent. It’s sad, really.)

When I see a campaign’s internal poll showing them performing a few points better than non-campaign polls, I generally think, “Okay, that could happen, if they’ve got some really good get-out-the-vote programs in the works.” When the gap between the campaign polls and other polls is closer to double digits . . . come on, pal. Give us some results from this plane of existence.

Tags: Charlie Melancon , David Vitter , Elaine Marshall , Richard Burr

As Far as Worst Nightmares Go, That One Is Pretty Tolerable


In a fundraising e-mail, Paul Begala calls the Democrats’ candidate for Senate in Louisiana, Charlie Melancon, “David Vitter’s worst nightmare.”

In the latest poll, Vitter leads his worst nightmare, 53 percent to 35 percent.

Tags: Charlie Melancon , David Vitter

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