Gray TV poll shows Landry leading in primary, potentially competitive runoffs

KSLA's Domonique Benn will serve as one of the panelists during an upcoming gubernatorial...
KSLA's Domonique Benn will serve as one of the panelists during an upcoming gubernatorial debate to be held Sept. 26, 2023 in New Orleans.(KSLA)
Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 4:59 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 19, 2023 at 8:15 AM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (KSLA) - Leading up to the Oct. 14 primary election for the governor of Louisiana, a new Gray TV poll sheds light on voter preferences, key issues, and the state’s political landscape.

The poll was conducted from Sept. 12 to 15, and involved 625 registered voters.

The results show Attorney General Jeff Landry (R) leading in the primary, but facing a potentially competitive runoff race.

The economy, crime, and healthcare are among the top concerns of voters.

Candidate Recognition

The poll gauged the recognition levels and opinions of key candidates among the Louisiana electorate:

  • Jeff Landry emerged as the most recognized candidate, with 46% of respondents recognizing his name. Among those familiar with him, 22% held a favorable opinion, while 23% viewed him unfavorably.
  • Shawn Wilson was recognized by 28% of respondents, and his favorability stood at 7%, with 31% holding a neutral opinion.
  • Steve Waguespack was recognized by 24% of voters, with 14% holding a favorable view and 35% expressing neutrality.
  • John Schroder had 17% recognition, and 12% held a favorable view, while 34% remained neutral.
  • Hunter Lundy and Sharon Hewitt had recognition levels of 14% and 11%, respectively, with varying levels of favorability and neutrality.

Voter Preferences in the Primary Election

When asked about their preferences in the primary election, the following results emerged:

  • Jeff Landry, one of the Republican candidates, garnered the most support at 40%. He was particularly popular among white voters (52%) and Republicans (57%). In north Louisiana, he received 49%, more than the statewide average.
  • Shawn Wilson, one of the Democratic candidates, received 24% of the vote, with strong support from Black voters (56%) and Democrats (47%). In north Louisiana, he received 19%, less than the statewide average.
  • Stephen Waguespack, another Republican, secured 9% of the vote. In north Louisiana, he received 7%, less than the statewide average.
  • Hunter Lundy, an Independent, had 4% support.
  • John Schroder and Sharon Hewitt had 3% and 2% support, respectively.
  • 15% of respondents remained undecided. 14% of voters in north Louisiana remain undecided, less than the statewide average.

Potential Runoff Scenarios

In the event no candidate secures more than 50% of the vote in the primary, the poll explored potential runoff scenarios:

  • In a runoff between Jeff Landry and Shawn Wilson, Landry had a lead with 52% compared to Wilson’s 39%.
  • Against Stephen Waguespack, Landry still maintained a lead, receiving 52% of the vote compared to Waguespack’s 27%.
  • When facing Hunter Lundy, Landry secured 56% of the vote against Lundy’s 30%.
  • A runoff against John Schroder saw Landry receiving 51% of the vote compared to Schroder’s 23%.
  • In a contest against Sharon Hewitt, Landry maintained a lead with 53% against Hewitt’s 23%.

Key Voter Concerns

The poll also inquired about the most important issues to voters:

  • The economy and jobs ranked as the top concerns, with 23% of voters citing them.
  • Crime and drugs were the second-highest concerns at 17%.
  • Education, healthcare, rising insurance rates, taxes, government spending, and abortion followed in varying order of importance.
  • 61% of respondents felt Louisiana is on the wrong track, while 28% believed it’s on the right track.
  • On the topic of abortion, 53% of voters opposed the current state abortion law, while 41% supported it.


The poll also provided insights into the demographics of the surveyed voters:

  • Party Registration: Democrat (42%), Republican (37%), Independent, or Other (21%)
  • Age Distribution: 18-34 (16%), 35-49 (28%), 50-64 (27%), 65+ (29%)
  • Gender: male (49%), female (51%)
  • Race/Ethnicity: White/Caucasian (67%), Black/African American (28%)
  • Region: New Orleans area (34%), Baton Rouge area (21%), south central Louisiana (24%), north Louisiana (22%)

Full Poll Results

Gray TV will hold a gubernatorial debate Tuesday, Sept. 26 at 7 p.m. at the University of New Orleans. To qualify for the debate, candidates were required to tally 5% or higher in the Gray-commissioner poll. Jeff Landry, Shawn Wilson, and Stephen Waguespack met the criteria. Wilson and Waguespack have accepted invitations to participate. Landry’s campaign has not given an answer as of Monday evening (Sept. 18).

KSLA’s Domonique Benn is one of the panelists. KSLA will show the debate on-air, and on its streaming platforms.

Election Day in Louisiana is Saturday, Oct. 14. Runoffs will be held Saturday, Nov. 18.