New poll has Vitter keeping lead

By Fred Childers – bio|email

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) –  It's no surprise that Republican David Vitter, and his Democratic opponent for the U.S. Senate seat, Charlie Melancon are hitting hard in political attack ads.
They both appear to be the front runners in the race to the U.S. Senate.

A new poll released Thursday and commissioned by WWL in New Orleans, shows that in the primary elections, Vitter gets a whopping 74% - his closest republican contender gets only 5%.

And Charlie Melancon takes 43%, over Neeson Chauvin's 39%.

"Of course Charlie Melancon has a good bit of ground to make up to get anywhere near David Vitter in terms of overall recognition," said Dr. Ron Faucheux, president of the Clarus Research Group. He says it's up to Melancon to change that.

Vitter has 91% name recognition, as opposed to Melancon's 68%.

Melancon's problem is also a Democratic one.

In the Democratic primary polls, 52 percent are undecided.

"Most of the people who are qualified to vote in a Democratic primary... really don't know that there's a Democratic primary for U.S. Senate going on," said Dr. Faucheux.

If the two end up going to the big show down - the general election- the polls have Vitter with a 12 point lead over Melancon.

But there is a wildcard, in the form of a disapproval rating of 37 percent for Vitter, who is the incumbent.

"But he is over 50 percent (approval) and that's very important for him to go the distance, but he doesn't have a lot of cushion so he needs to be very careful in his campaign," said Dr. Faucheux.

Both candidates appear to be the top challengers of their party, but with three months removed from the November elections, any of the challengers can change that.

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