Thursday, November 20, 2014
Rasmussen Reports’ first survey of the Louisiana Senate runoff shows Republican challenger Bill Cassidy comfortably on his way to joining the new GOP Senate majority.
Cassidy posts a 15-point lead – 56% to 41%- over incumbent Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu among Likely Louisiana Voters in our latest statewide telephone survey. Just three percent (3%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
Landrieu edged Cassidy, a U.S. congressman, 42% to 41% on Election Day earlier this month, with eight candidates officially in the race. But under Louisiana’s so-called “jungle primary” rules, the contest will now be decided by a December 6 runoff because no candidate cleared the 50% mark.
Eighty-seven percent (87%) of the state’s likely voters say they are certain to vote in the runoff, and Cassidy leads 57% to 41% among these voters.
In hopes of swaying voters in her energy-conscious state, Landrieu pushed hard this week for Senate passage of legislation approving the construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada to Texas, but liberal senators in her own party defeated her. However, our survey, taken while the Senate was debating this action, doesn’t show that Landrieu was likely to benefit much from passage of the pipeline measure.
Seventy percent (70%) of Louisiana voters favor building the Keystone pipeline, compared to 58% of voters nationwide. In the Pelican State, this includes 52% who Strongly Favor it. Just 15% are somewhat or Strongly Opposed.
Among voters who Strongly Favor the Keystone pipeline, Cassidy leads Landrieu 78% to 20%. Landrieu leads 54% to 40% among those who somewhat favor it and is far ahead among the small group of voters opposed to the project.
The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters in Louisiana was conducted on November 16-19, 2014 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.
Not counting the race in Louisiana, Republicans now hold a 53 to 46 majority in the new Senate that will be seated in January. Half of voters nationally say the Republican takeover of Congress was a repudiation of President Obama’s party rather than an endorsement of the GOP. Democrats don’t disagree.
Landrieu, a member of the U.S. Senate since 1997, has the support of only 76% of Louisiana Democrats. Twenty-one percent (21%) of the state’s Democrats and 92% of Louisiana Republicans favor Cassidy. He also has a seven-point advantage among voters not affiliated with either of the major political parties.
Cassidy leads nearly two-to-one among men, while the candidates run almost even among women voters. Landrieu is the choice of voters under 40, while the Republican is well ahead among those who are older.
When voters are asked which candidate they trust more in four major policy areas, Cassidy has double-digit leads in three of them – taxes (52% to 39%), government spending (52% to 38%) and government ethics and corruption (52% to 37%). He leads by nine points in voter trust in the area of social issues (50% to 41%).
Louisiana voters also remain more critical of Obamacare than voters are nationwide. Just 35% of voters in the state view the health care law favorably, while 60% have an unfavorable opinion of it. This includes 18% with a Very Favorable view and 50% with a Very Unfavorable one.
Landrieu earns 90% support among voters with a Very Favorable opinion of the law. Cassidy gets 90% of the vote from the much larger group with a Very Unfavorable view.
Cassidy is viewed favorably by 55% of all voters in the state and unfavorably by 43%. This includes 27% with a Very Favorable opinion of him and 28% with a Very Unfavorable one. For Landrieu, favorables are 43% and unfavorable 55%, including 29% with a Very Favorable view of the three-term senator and 42% with a Very Unfavorable view.
The state’s other U.S. senator, Republican David Vitter, is viewed favorably by 54% and unfavorably by 36%.
Only 40% of Louisiana voters approve of the job Obama is doing, while 58% disapprove. This includes 27% who Strongly Approve and 52% who Strongly Disapprove, giving the president a worse job approval rating in the state than he earns nationally.
But voters also continue to complain about the performance of GOP Governor Bobby Jindal. Forty-three percent (43%) approve of his job performance, but 54% do not. This includes 15% who Strongly Approve and 35% who Strongly Disapprove.
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