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Poll Vaulting 

  Southern Media & Opinion Research (SMOR) released a poll May 2 that showed mixed news for Gov. Bobby Jindal, good news for Sen. David Vitter, and overall dissatisfaction with state lawmakers. The poll of 600 likely voters was conducted by phone April 19-23 and carries a plus-or-minus 4 percent margin of error.

  Jindal's "positive job rating" remained unchanged since the last SMOR poll in November 2010, standing at 55 percent, while his "negative job rating" increased 1 point to 44 percent. Jindal's statewide TV ad campaign, which debuted since the last poll, seemed to have little effect; registered voters who said they would "definitely" vote to re-elect Jindal in the fall fell from 39 to 35.6 percent. In a statement, pollster Bernie Pinsonat said Jindal didn't seem to be in any danger, but "his approval ratings are the same as the fall and have actually gone down over the course of his term. That's significant, considering Jindal is regarded as a reform governor."

  Polling better than Jindal was Vitter, with a 58 percent job approval rating. That correlates inversely with President Barack Obama's 58 percent disapproval rating in Louisiana. Vitter spent much of the last year raising money and positioning himself against Obama in the state.

  Most of all, voters seem to be generally grouchy. Almost 69 percent said state tax money was not being spent wisely, and 60 percent said lawmakers acted in their own best interest, not that of the state, in the recent redistricting session. There were two exceptions to the anti-tax, anti-government mood: 66 percent of voters were up for raising cigarette taxes (Jindal has already said he won't allow it), while 75 percent said they didn't trust BP to do the right thing when it came to oil disaster cleanup and fund disbursement and favored government involvement in the process.

  Remember the flap in 2008 when a bipartisan majority of state legislators voted to increase their own salaries? Politicians are hoping you don't. A whopping 86 percent of those polled said they would not re-elect a lawmaker who voted for his or her own pay raise. To see how your representative voted, go to www.votesmart.org/issue_keyvote_member.php?cs_id=19855. — Kevin Allman

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