Thursday, January 21, 2010

Mayoral poll: Good news for Mitch, not so much for everyone else

Posted By on Thu, Jan 21, 2010 at 4:44 PM

click to enlarge poll

Last night, WWL-TV released the results of a highly anticipated mayoral poll that's good news for Mitch Landrieu and a cold splash of water for his competitors. The scientific telephone poll of 500 people, conducted by the station and the Claris Research Group, found Landrieu's support at 45% -- polling highly in all categories and demographics:

The scientific survey of 500 voters shows Landrieu does well across the board, winning among whites, blacks, men, women and all ages.

Henry's core of support came in the African American community, while Couhig's strongest support came in the white community.

Landrieu also outscores the others among Republicans, Democrats and independents.

The only other candidate in the double digits was Troy Henry, polling second at 14%. Coming in third, with 8% apiece, were John Georges and Rob Couhig.

Perhaps more worrisome for many of the candidates was the news that, despite an unprecedented number of forums and the new use of social media to spread their messages, most New Orleans don't know them, or haven't heard enough about them to form an opinion:

More than half of those questioned said they had not heard enough about Nadine Ramsey or James Perry rate them favorably or unfavorably.

Forty-two percent had not heard enough about Couhig, and 38 percent said they knew too little about Henry to rate him. For Georges, 31 percent for Georges.

Only seven percent said they didn't know enough about Landrieu to rate him.

The undecided folks should provide a clue as to whom the candidates will be targeting in the next two weeks:

Pollster Ron Faucheux says 69 percent of the undecided voters are African American. Twenty-four percent are white.

As a result, he predicts a lot of the campaigning from now until election day will focus on the African American community.

I would've loved to have sent this poll to Katrina vanden Heuvel, publisher and editor of The Nation, but she doesn't seem to have an email address on the magazine's Web site. In an endorsement last week of James Perry, vanden Heuvel wrote:

The mayoral race in beleaguered New Orleans has a candidate who is a true social justice advocate and progressive--Nation contributor and civil rights advocate James Perry. The New York Times has declared the race all but over--pushing a "white mayor in NOLA" storyline...

Oh, bull, Ms. vanden Heuvel. First of all, the article to which you link is by the NYT correspondent in "beleaguered" New Orleans, Campbell Robertson, who, unlike you, is actually here, has actually been attending campaign events and seems to have the charmingly antiquated notion that actual reporting means talking to actual people. Second, Robertson's article "pushed" no such thing:

The balance of power between blacks and whites in New Orleans has been an issue for decades, a back-and-forth that has only intensified since Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005, now that every election is a referendum on the future of the city. But a recent decision by a black candidate to drop out of the 2010 mayor’s race has made the possibility of a white man in the city’s most powerful office startlingly real.

...which, given these poll results, seems to be true. The only thing being "pushed" here is Katrina vanden Heuvel's agenda in endorsing a candidate in a race she knows zippo about.

Anyway, read the whole poll over at WWLTV.com (usual disclaimer: Gambit owner Clancy DuBos is also a political analyst for the station, and some of our Gambiteers make regular appearances on the WWL Eyewitness Morning News to create genial havoc).

Tonight's 10 pm news will bring Part II of the poll -- the numbers on the City Council candidates. Given the turnout for last night's council-at-large forum (6 out of 7 candidates showed up to a crowd of less than 25 people, many of whom were their aide

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