eve it looks like this race will go down to the wire. The
bump Terrell received from President Bush's visit earlier
this week has subsided a little. The start of hunting season
tomorrow could hurt Terrell, but contrary to some reports
LSU is not playing in the SEC Championship game in
Atlanta, which could have had a negative impact on GOP turnout.
Bottom line, turnout will decide this race. We think black
turnout will be solid, but not huge. The white vote is the
real question mark, if Landrieu can't do better among white
voters than the other southern defeated Senate Democratic
candidates she will definitely lose. However, her polling
numbers among whites are not terrible and as we said before
if she could get one third of the white vote she will be in
good shape if the black turnout comes in at 25% or higher.
We suspect black turnout will be more like 23%-24% of the
total vote and Terrell will squeak out the win. Terrell
51% - Landrieu 49%. FINAL CALL (12/6)
like the Republicans are poised to finish off the 2002 election
by picking up one more Democratic Senate seat for a total pickup
of three seats. While the two most recent polls (independent
polls) both show Landrieu ahead by one and two points, we think
Terrell is well positioned for victory this Saturday.
poll by Mason-Dixon, taken Monday and Tuesday of this
week, shows an eight point bump for Terrell on Tuesday. The
378 voters questioned Monday night supported Landrieu 48%-43%,
but the 247 people interviewed Tuesday night supported Terrell
49%-46%. Not coincidentally President Bush was in Louisiana
on Tuesday campaigning and raising money for Terrell. Landrieu
was in trouble before the President's appearance this week,
but we think the bump from the President will probably be
the final nail in Landrieu's coffin.
factors that could still work to produce a a Landrieu victory
is her support in the white community which appears to be
pretty solid for a southern, non-conservative Democrat. The
University of New Orleans poll had Terrell ahead 58%-31% among
white voters. President Bush carried white voters in Louisiana
72%-26% in 2000 and we think Terrell will need close to 65%
of the white vote in this election, assuming a "normal"
black turnout to win. The other positive for the Landrieu
campaign is the assistance of Donna Brazille in get out the
vote efforts in the African-American community. If Landrieu
can get over one-third of the white vote and she can get a
decent turnout in the black community, 25% or higher of total
voters, she has a chance to squeak by with a narrow win.
has become an issue in this race and contrary to typical press
wisdom the issue is working to hurt the pro-choice candidate
Landrieu with the very white Democratic voters she needs to
have in order to win. So like so many of the other races this
cycle, this one will come down to turnout. Working to help
turnout for the Republicans is the House race in the fifth
congressional district where the Republican
Lee Fletcher is expected to win. Given the recent history,
just last month, in Georgia, North Carolina, Texas and the
other southern states we see little reason to anticipate a
Democratic upside surprise regarding turnout on election day.
With the President's visit still fresh in the voters minds
we think Terrell pulls out another big win for the GOP. Terrell
52% - Landrieu 47%. (12/5)
poll conducted by Dr. Susan Howell of the UNO Survey Research
Center, shows the race a dead heat, with Landrieu clinging
to a one point lead, 44-43. We take this poll as a bad sign
for Landrieu. Right now we think Terrell has the upper hand.
are all over the place in this race. The National
Journal's Charlie Cook on Tuesday opened his column, "with
one poll showing Republican state Elections Commissioner Suzanne
Haik Terrell running ahead of incumbent Democratic Sen. Mary
Landrieu by 17 points and another showing Landrieu leading Terrell
by 16 points, things are wild in Louisiana." Well things
are indeed wild when you have two polls that are 33 points apart
with the election less than two weeks away.
recent polls that we were able to get information on, when
taken as a composite, show Landrieu ahead by a couple of points,
and this goes along with Cook's assertion that the "more
credible private polling is showing the race very close, Landrieu
is ahead by single digits, but there is a dangerously large
Media and Opinion Research poll that has Landrieu ahead by
16 points was weighted to reflect black voter turnout at 28%,
which we view as way too high. Xavier University pollster
Silas Lee tells the Shreveport
Times that black turnout was 26% in 1991 when David Duke
ran for Governor "and it's never been as high since" so we
see it as highly unlikely that black turnout will be the 28%
that the Southern Media folks used in their poll sampling.
The Marketing Research Institute poll projected black turnout
at only 23% and their poll, taken at exactly the same time
as the Southern Media and Opinion Research poll, has Terrell
politics has been racially polarized for some time now and
the results from 2000 where 72% of whites voted for George
W. Bush and 92% of blacks voted for Al Gore bear that out.
The conventional wisdom is Landrieu is going to have to have
a large turnout in the black community to win. And while that
is certainly true, if the results from the other southern
Senate races are indicative of any kind of emerging trend,
Landrieu is going to have keep Terrell's share of the white
vote below 67% irrespective of how large a turnout she may
get from the black community. For even with a very large African-American
turnout in 2000 going over 92% for Gore, Bush still carried
the state by 8 points because he won 72% of the white vote.
Landrieu may currently be ahead by several points, if her
average poll numbers continue to hover around 45%, or below,
we suspect the tailwind from President Bush's expected visit
the Wednesday before the election may just be enough to give
Terrell the victory.