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Posted: Sunday, 24 November 2013 7:48AM

Surveys: Mary Landrieu falters while Vitter looks strong in 2015



A couple of new statewide polls just out may be an indication of Louisiana's political future.

A new statewide poll shows Senator Mary Landrieu's job approval rating has fallen 10-percentage points this year.

Southern Media and Opinion Research pollster Bernie Pinsonat says the falling approval numbers are likely tied to the roll out of Obamacare.

"She took a hit, obviously, because she voted for, and has been a big supporter of, Obamacare," Pinsonat says. "Obamacare is not popular in Louisiana and never has been."

46-percent of the respondents to the Pinsonat poll say Landrieu is doing a good job. That's down from 56-percent from a similar survey conducted in the spring. Pinsonat says these falling approval numbers suggest she'll have a difficult time getting re-elected next year.

"She's running against a backdrop of Louisiana being a red state, and a state that doesn't give Obama good job performance marks...it doesn't like Obamacare."

The poll conducted a three-way trial heat between Landrieu and GOP challengers Congressman Bill Cassidy and Rob Manness. Landrieu received 44-percent of the vote, Cassidy 34-percent and Maness 10-percent. The rest were undecided.

Pinsonat says 56-percent of the respondents to the poll also say they want to elect someone new.

"Mary Landrieu, you can literally say right now, doesn't really control her destiny. She needs the Republicans to help her out. They've got to make some mistakes. And, of course, that's very possible."

There is going to be a new Louisiana governor in 2015, and there's already speculation about who that person will be.

Another new poll from Southern Media says U.S. Senator David Vitter is the man to beat for the 2015 Louisiana Governor's race, if he decides to run.

Pollster Bernie Pinsonat says that, in a five candidate trial heat, Vitter leads the field with 30-percent of the vote. He say's Vitter's popularity with Republican voters really gives him an advantage.

"If you can get 50 percent of the Republicans, you're almost assured of being in a runoff. You only need a few other Democrats and, right now, he has those."

Vitter hasn't said if he'll run for governor in two years, but there's speculation he will. Amite Representative John Bel Edwards is the only announced Democrat, but Pinsonat says Edwards only gained eight-percent of the vote in his 5 candidate trial heat. He says New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu would be a better candidate for the democrats.

"He would certainly do better if you have four or five candidates. And, of course, that's the big unknown right now...whether Mitch will run. If he runs, of course, the dynamic changes for the Democrats, and they have a much better outlook."

The other two republicans who received a lot of support in the Southern Media gubernatorial poll are State Treasurer John Kennedy and Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne. But Pinsonat says Vitter has a double-digit percentage point lead over those two.

"Well, they're both good candidates and they're both popular. They're about as popular as Vitter. But, you can't out-Vitter David Vitter."

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