A couple of weeks ago, Lane Grigsby, one of the most prolific and influential Republican donors in modern Louisiana history, commissioned the conservative-leaning Bernie Pinsonat to conduct a comprehensive statewide poll that primarily focused on Governor Jindal’s agenda. Unsurprisingly, Pinsonat’s poll revealed that Jindal’s approval rating has dropped substantially; in the course of only a year, Jindal went from being one of the most popular governors in the country to one of the least popular and most controversial. Moreover, Pinsonat’s polling revealed that Jindal’s policies on taxes, the budget, health care, and education are opposed by a majority of Louisianans.
In response to Pinsonat’s poll, Bobby Jindal’s acolytes have been almost too predictable: The data was skewed, they’ve said. This is nothing more than a left-wing conspiracy built on flawed methodology and an oversampling of liberals. Quoting from The Advocate:
Timmy Teepell, Jindal’s chief political adviser, said, “Any poll that has Obama within 6 points of Romney in Louisiana, I’m not going to take seriously.”
Teepell continued, “That’s skewed pretty far to the left.”
It’s worth noting: Timmy Teepell, who is the home-schooled son of a wealthy and influential Baton Rouge family and who remains one of the most powerful figures in Louisiana, a man who currently calls himself Jindal’s Chief of Politics, never attended college. He earned his high school diploma behind his family’s kitchen table, and after bypassing college, he cleverly anointed himself a “Road Scholar.” Mr. Teepell’s “riches-to-riches” story obviously resonates with Governor Jindal. For years, Jindal has entrusted his political messaging to Teepell, and Teepell, to his credit, has been a loyal and well-compensated foot soldier.
Incidentally, Pinsonat’s poll may have placed Obama 6 points behind Romney in Louisiana, but it also revealed that 17% of voters were undecided. Teepell’s criticism is self-serving and without merit. According to Pinsonat’s poll, 39% of Louisianans support the re-election of President Obama. In 2008, 39.9% of Louisianans voted for President Obama; Pinsonat’s poll reveals only that Obama’s support in Louisiana remains solid, while Romney’s is still soft.
Considering that 31% of Louisianans are African-American and that 95+% of African-Americans support Obama, these results shouldn’t be too surprising. Remember also: Romney lost the Louisiana Republican Presidential primary to Rick Santorum. I’m not deluded. I recognize Obama will likely lose Louisiana by double-digits, but he will still garner a significant portion. Even in Louisiana, he’s still the incumbent President.
Either way, though, the point is: Jindal and his allies seek to discredit the conservative-leaning and conservative-sponsored Pinsonat polling because it’s severely embarrassing for them.
Timmy Teepell probably should have just waited a couple of days before insulting Pinsonat and Grigsby’s poll, a poll that actually showed Obama’s support in Louisiana decreasing since 2008.
He should have known that David Vitter was lurking.
Yesterday, Magellan released a poll conducted by a former Vitter staff member. I realize I am burying the real story here, but if you’ve read this far, you should know: David Vitter is most definitely planning to run for Governor of Louisiana, and he rightfully thinks that his strongest opponent is New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu.
Magellan’s poll is fraught with disastrous flaws: It severely oversamples white Republicans, by at least 15 points; it’s not proportionate among Congressional districts; its methodology and questioning are leading and disingenuous. It’s heavily skewed toward conservatives, which is not surprising; after all, it was led by a Vitter-man. And there’s hardly any mention of Bobby Jindal or his policies; Vitter isn’t even slightly interested in how Jindal is polling.
According to David Vitter’s pollster, Junior United States Senator David Vitter is the most popular elected official in the State of Louisiana. Before even announcing, David Vitter is already a 5-point favorite in a heads-up race for Governor against Mitch Landrieu. According to his poll, the majority of Louisianans care more about taxes than social issues (like cavorting with prostitutes, I imagine); considering that Vitter was initially elected on a platform of social issues– only to be subsequently ensnared in the most notorious prostitution scandal in American history– he must be relieved to know that he can continue ignoring his complicity in alleged federal crimes and focus instead on starving and depriving Louisiana from federal funding.
Oh, and despite what Pinsonat’s poll suggested, Mary Landrieu is rejected by the overwhelming majority of voters. (Sort of. Actually, the questions about Vitter and Mary were completely different. While Magellan asked if people “approved” of Vitter, they then followed up by asking if people agreed that someone should run against Mary).
The take-away is this: While Governor Jindal argues that the polls are all wrong about him, David Vitter is buying his own polls and making himself appear to be our beloved and popular frontrunner.
David Vitter wants to run for Governor, and the Landrieu family still scares the ever-loving hell out of him. As they should: Despite what Vitter’s obviously biased polling suggests, if the election were held tomorrow, Mitch would beat Vitter by double digits. Vitter’s antipathy toward “Democrats” can only go so far in a state in which registered Democrats outnumber registered Republicans by nearly two-to-one. To outside prognosticators, this may seem baffling, but here’s the thing: Unlike Vitter, Mitch has an actual record to run on, and Louisianans don’t care nearly as much about the United States Senate as they do about the Governor’s Mansion.