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Another poll shows top job Landry's to lose

It’s confirmed: Republican Atty. Gen. Jeff Landry is pulling away from the Louisiana gubernatorial field, rendering moot the mythology about how little-known or also-ran politicians score surprising victories for the state’s top office.

Another media consortium has put out a poll on the race, pegging Landry’s support at 36 percent. As in the other survey released earlier this week, former Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards cabinet member Democrat Shawn Wilson pulls in 26 percent, and everybody else is in single digits with 14 percent undecided, say the likely voters. These numbers were slightly worse for Landry and slightly better for Wilson than the previous poll, but nevertheless reaffirm a Landry-Wilson runoff looms on the horizon where Landry will win decisively.

This provides another blow to the hopes of the anybody-but-Landry coterie of political activists, who keep hoping somehow another non-Democrat challenger will emerge to slip past Wilson into the runoff. The thinking is that a large portion of Democrats, some Republicans, and about half of all others don’t like Landry enough so that he would lose in a runoff to such a candidate.


Little partisan change ahead for LA Legislature

Louisiana Legislature elections this fall look on track to cement a Republican supermajority that, at least for the next few years, may be superfluous.

Given term limits and decisions to seek other offices or retirements, at least a third of the incoming Legislature will have new faces in various offices. Another third will have guaranteed holdovers from incumbents who didn’t draw any opponents, and three lucky House newcomers and one fortunate Senate rookie (although a sitting House member) got free passes to their new posts.

The partisan scorecard reads as follows: 15 uncontested House Democrats, 13 Democrat-only House contests, 30 uncontested House Republicans, 26 Republican-only House contests, 8 uncontested Senate Democrats, 12 uncontested Senate Republicans, 10 Republican-only Senate contests. That makes for guaranteed party representation of 28 Democrats and 56 Republicans in the House – more than enough to put the chamber in control of Republicans – and 8 Democrats and 22 Republicans in the Senate – also enough to give partisan control there to the GOP.


Caddo top races to test evolving dynamics

Elections for half of Caddo Parish’s executive offices will tell whether the dynamics of the 2022 Shreveport mayoral election signaled something new or was just a transient blip on the radar.

Last year, Republican Mayor Tom Arceneaux surprisingly defeated Democrat state Sen. Greg Tarver for the city’s top job. Not only did the city’s Democrat majority in the electorate provide enough defections to let Arceneaux post the win, but also a significantly higher proportion of blacks that typical did the same, a result especially unanticipated as Arceneaux is white and Tarver black.

While the contests for clerk of court and coroner this fall went unopposed for the incumbents, spirited battles seem ahead for sheriff and assessor, where in both instances long-time incumbents will step down. For different reasons, both will test, this time in a parish-wide setting (Shreveport voters comprise about three-quarters of the parish total) propensity for crossover voting that could benefit white Republican candidates as happened for Arceneaux.


Landry separating; SOS & AG races still in flux

It might be a bit early to celebrate if you’re Louisiana Republican Atty. Gen. Jeff Landry, but you don’t want to wait much later to get going if you’re a candidate for his job or secretary of state, recent surveying shows.

Last week, a group that owns several state television stations released a poll it had commissioned on the governor’s, attorney general’s, and secretary of state’s races. Far and away, Landry lead among gubernatorial candidates with 38 percent of the vote, compared to runner-up Democrat Shawn Wilson at 21 percent. Badly trailing were Republicans state Sen. Sharon Hewitt and Stephen Waguespack with 5 percent and Treasurer John Schorder at 4 percent, independent Hunter Lundy with 3 percent and GOP state Rep. Richard Nelson at 1 percent.

Significantly, this was a truly independent poll but one that showed more softness for Wilson and more strength for Landry than any other. This might have occurred partially as a result of the pollster having a sample 59 percent above the age of 49 while those voters make up about half of the electorate (the pollster tried to cull infrequent voters from the sample), which also resulted in almost half of responses coming through landline telephones when only 30 percent of Louisiana households (as of 2020) even occasionally used landlines.


Intense rivalries mark NW LA legislative tilts

Reapportionment shook up Caddo and Bossier Parish representation in the Louisiana Legislature, setting up for some new faces, refugees from other local offices, and intense clashes on this fall’s ballot.

The area’s overall declining population rearranged things considerably. Which boundaries are coming and going will create some interesting dynamics.

In the House of Representatives, District 1 won last time for his first term by Republican Danny McCormick, retreated from Bossier Parish to become a completely Caddo-based entity. He will again face Republican Randall Liles in a race that could be closer than last time. Although McCormick eked out a general election win without runoff, he ran six percentage points better in Bossier than Caddo. Still, the foothold he has established over the past four years and votes reflecting the district’s ideological tilt should be enough to reelect him.