Sen. John Kennedy Gets Good News In Louisiana’s First Major Senate Poll
The first major poll by a national firm to gauge the lay of the land in Louisiana has John Kennedy blowing out his competition in the midterm elections, which take place in just under a month.
Just as surprising, Democratic candidate Luke Mixon is polling ahead of Gary Chambers as the two battle it out for a chance to send Kennedy into a runoff.
The poll, conducted by Public Policy Polling (PPP), has Kennedy walking back into office without a runoff election. He is at 53 percent, putting him 37 points ahead of Mixon, who polls at 16 percent.
What's more, Chambers, who went viral over the summer with his online ads and who was leading the fundraising race against Mixon early on, is a distant third to Mixon, polling at 8 percent. Syrita Steib, the third Democratic candidate, polls at 6 percent. The remaining 16 percent of voters in the poll would either vote for someone else (2 percent) or are not sure who they would vote for (14 percent).
Does Infrastructure Matter?
One of the issues Democrats have raised against Kennedy is his vote against the bipartisan infrastructure bill touted by Louisiana's other U.S. Senator, Bill Cassidy, and signed into law by Joe Biden. However, the poll showed that isn't moving the needle with voters.
When informed or reminded of that vote, 36 percent of voters were more likely to vote for Kennedy, while a quarter of voters said it wouldn't make a difference, and it had no effect on the 53 percent who were already committed to voting for Kennedy.
PPP is the first major firm to publicly release its results for Louisiana's Senate race. Because of Louisiana's jungle primary system, all candidates are on the ballot in November. Kennedy could be forced into a runoff against one of his Democratic opponents if he doesn't get more than 50 percent of the vote in November, but as of right now, he appears to be escaping that scenario.
Mixon vs. Chambers
The biggest surprise of the poll might be Luke Mixon's newfound dominance over Gary Chambers.
Chambers criticized the state Democratic Party for doing a joint endorsement of all three Democrats in the race, despite what he claimed was a clear preference for him. He even accused the state party chair, Katie Bernhardt, of being racist after the party released its endorsement.
"Katie Bernhardt told me last year she didn't believe a Black man can win in Louisiana," Chambers previously told the USA Today Network. "The Democratic Party isn't racist, but Katie Bernhardt may be."
Mixon's campaign has Louisiana's Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards backing him, with a lot of Edwards' campaign team working on Mixon's Senate bid. Though he struggled with fundraising early on, PPP is showing voters are more enthusiastic about him than Chambers.