In the first snapshot of the 6th Congressional District race that already has attracted national media attention, Edwin Edwards leads seven other candidates in an independent, automated poll of 718 registered voters.
The computerized telephone poll was conducted by Darrell Glascock, a long-time political operative in Arkansas and north Louisiana, who said the cost of the survey was covered by himself and three legislative lobbyists whom he would not identify. “We did it more out of curiosity than anything else,” he said.
While not a traditional poll from a widely-recognized source, it’s enough to get politicos talking and accurately presents the developing field in terms of name I.D. Reflecting Edwards’ nearly universal name recognition and substantial identification of two other well-known Baton Rouge names, the poll results, along with the description given of each candidate, were:
— Edwin Edwards, “Democrat, former state senator, congressman and governor,” 43 percent
— Dan Claitor, “Republican state senator and tax attorney,” 20.3 percent
— Paul Dietzel, “Republican Baton Rouge businessman,” 19.2 percent
— Craig McCulloch, Republican, Baton Rouge small business owner,” 4.4 percent
— Garret Graves, “Republican, Gov. Bobby Jindal’s point man on coastal restoration,” 4 percent
— Cassie Felder, “Republican, Baton Rouge tax attorney,” 3.9 percent
— Charles “Trey” Thomas, “Republican, Baton Rouge schoolteacher,” 2.6 percent
— Richard Lieberman, Democrat, “LaPlace real estate broker,” 2.5 percent
The survey overlooked at least three other individuals who have said they will run, including tea party columnist Bob Bell, disabled veteran Norm Clark and Capital Area United Way campaign manager Quentin Anthony Anderson. All three are from Baton Rouge, Anderson is a Democrat and the other two are Republicans.
The names of the candidates were read alphabetically and the sample was distributed according to the number of voters in the 10 parishes—in whole or part—in the 6th District, said Glascock.
Only 17.5 percent of the sample, however, was African-American, while the black registration in the district is 21.7 percent. The margin of error for the poll is +/- 3 percent.
In two runoff scenarios, Claitor and Graves both beat Edwards by an identical margin of 52-47 percent. Glascock said he did not expect Dietzel, the grandson and namesake of the famous former LSU football coach, to poll as high, so he did not include him in a hypothetical runoff.
Dietzel, however, was included in another poll conducted by JMC Analytics and Polling over two days beginning Feb. 24. In the survey, Dietzel pulled 43 percent against Edwards’ 34 percent. Against Claitor, Dietzel faced a tighter spread and lead by one point, 18 percent to 17 percent, with 65 percent undecided. The survey was sponsored by the Dietzel campaign. More info about the poll can be found here.
It gives credence to what Glascock believes is Edwards' ceiling. “(My poll) told me that Edwards tops out at 47 percent” against a Republican, he said.
“That doesn’t mean he doesn’t win, because you can’t account for turnout,” added Glascock. “If he lives, he’s going to be a contender.”
The Glascock poll also asked participants who they would vote for in the upcoming U.S. Senate race. Congressman Bill Cassidy, who currently represents the 6th District, won that matchup with 64.6 percent against incumbent Sen. Mary Landrieu’s 35.3 percent. Party labels were not provided in the script for this particular runoff scenario.
To read the script for the Glascock poll, which includes some phonetic spellings, click here.