KSLA POLL: Sen. Mary Landrieu has lead in U.S. Senate race

KSLA POLL: Sen. Mary Landrieu has lead in U.S. Senate race

A poll conducted for KSLA News 12 and other Raycom Media stations in Louisiana shows incumbent U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu leading the field of all candidates in the race, with 36 percent of respondents saying they plan to vote for her in next month's election.

Congressman Bill Cassidy came in second with 32 percent. Colonel Rob Maness was favored by 6 percent while 23 percent of those surveyed were undecided, according to the poll. All of the other candidates polled at less than one percent.

According to Shreveport Political Analyst Elliot Stonecipher, those numbers fit comfortably with the many other polls that have been done on the race within the past 30 days. "It certainly increases the likelihood that we will see an election outcome on november 4 that is basically the same as these numbers," he said.

Stonecipher says the percentage of undecided voters is "surprisingly high" this close to the election. "With 15 days to go, with this kind of recognition level, we would not expect to see that," he said.

The undecided voters could shake up the predicted outcome, "What it is more than anything else is probably a little unnerving for Senator Landrieu, because at this stage, in this kind of race, undecided voters do not break for the incumbent, they typically are a reservoir of votes for the challenger," he said.

Our pollster says if Landrieu and Cassidy end up in a runoff, the results show Cassidy would have the advantage with 43 percent favoring him in a runoff compared to Landrieu's 40 percent.

Stonecipher says historically, this close to the race, polls accurately reflect what will happen. "We would be very surprised, based on all of the polling we are seeing, if we ended up with anything other than the expected runoff between Congressman Cassidy and Senator Landrieu," said Stonecipher.

Stonecipher says another factor that could shake up the poll results, is if the democratic party is successful in turning out their vote, like in the past few mid-term elections.

The poll of 605 registered voters was conducted October 14-19, 2014 by Multi-Quest International, based in Metairie. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points. The poll was conducted for Louisiana Raycom Media stations including WAFB-TV in Baton Rouge, WVUE-TV in New Orleans, KSLA-TV in Shreveport and KPLC-TV in Lake Charles. The results were released at 5 p.m. Monday.

Respondents were also asked their opinion of both Cassidy and Landrieu. 26 percent said they have an extremely or very favorable opinion of Cassidy while 21 percent said somewhat favorable and 35 percent said not very favorable. For Landrieu, 34 percent said they had an extremely or somewhat favorable opinion of her, 13 percent said somewhat favorable, and 46 percent said not very favorable. Some respondents declined to answer certain questions.

The poll is a deciding factor in which candidates will be invited to take part in the final U.S. Senate debate which will air on WAFB and several other television stations across Louisiana on October 29th at 7 p.m. All candidates who received 5 percent or higher qualify to take part. Landrieu, Maness, and Cassidy all meet that criteria and all three have confirmed that they will be present. 

The debate will be broadcast live from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. The election is November 4.

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