LaPolitics has obtained a November poll commissioned by Planned Parenthood that seeks to clarify voter stances on pro-choice and pro-life issues in Louisiana.
Conducted by Hamilton Campaigns with 600 likely voters, with over-samples from Baton Rouge and New Orleans, it found Republicans are still the leading preference for legislative seats, with 46 percent compared to 41 percent for Democrats and 12 percent undecided.
Drilling down to the key issue, the poll points to a majority of Louisiana voters (54 percent) preferring a legislative candidate who focuses on creating jobs, increasing access to health care and protecting the middle class. Only one-in-three (33 percent) want a candidate who focuses first on protecting traditional values and upholding a "pro-life, pro-family agenda."
As for ending all government funds for Planned Parenthood, 37 percent were in favor, 56 were opposed and 7 percent had no opinion. While cross-tabs were requested by LaPolitics but not provided, a poll memo stated that voters in the north Louisiana, New Orleans and Baton Rouge media markets were strongly opposed to defunding, while voters in the south were divided.
When voters were asked to describe themselves, 56 percent identified as pro-life, 26 percent pro-choice and 16 percent as "in between." However, a majority of voters did not believe Roe vs. Wade should be overturned-33 percent were for overturn, compared to 59 percent for leave it in place.
Contacted for comment, Gene Mills, president of Louisiana Family Forum, offered the following statement to LaPolitics:
"Planned Parenthood hired a company whose client list is a veritable 'who’s who' of pro-abortion organizations to spin their pitiful national reputation into a positive. This 'poll' will only motivate pro-life efforts to educate Louisiana on the immoral, unethical and illegal activities of Planned Parenthood of the Gulf Coast! Planned Parenthood's principle business is to sell abortion and remains the single largest abortion provider in America (327,000 last year according to their 2012-2013 Annual Report). Planned Parenthood is expanding in Louisiana and hopes to accelerate abortion opportunities this year. Louisiana Family Forum is part of an effort working to make Louisiana the first abortion-free state in the nation. Louisiana residents have consistently demonstrated their strong commitment to Life in the only poll that counts—the voting booth. Louisiana's Legislature and governor are 'the most pro-life in the nation.' Louisiana law will continue to reflect uncompromising support for our state’s most vulnerable—the unborn."
The issue isn't weakening in the Legislature. State Rep. Frank Hoffman, R-West Monroe, said that he plans on filing additional legislation this year to "maintain Louisiana's ranking as the most pro-life state in the nation," echoing Mills' statement. It's expected that Planned Parenthood's funding will be a part of those debates.
MORE ON THE PLANNED PARENTHOOD POLL: