PPP's newest Louisiana poll finds a race largely unchanged from February: Mary Landrieu and Bill Cassidy are likely to advance to a December runoff, and that match up is a toss up. Landrieu leads with 44% for the November election to 27% for Cassidy, 8% for Rob Maness, and 5% for Paul Hollis. Neither of the Republican alternatives to the establishment candidate are gaining any steam.
Even with 17% of voters undecided it will be a pretty difficult road to 50% for Landrieu in the November election- she has only an 8% approval rating with those remaining undecideds, and they voted for Mitt Romney by a 70/14 margin in 2012. Most of those folks seem likely to end up deciding who to vote for in November between the trio of GOP hopefuls.
The likely Landrieu/Cassidy match up for the December runoff is tied at 47. Among those who support Maness or Hollis or are undecided for the November election, 68% move to Cassidy for December compared to only 11% who move toward Landrieu. Even though only 6% of voters are undecided in that match up, they don't set up great for Landrieu- 61% voted for Romney to 20% who voted for Obama, and she has a 14/65 approval rating.
Louisiana makes another state where voters aren't particularly thrilled with either of their major choices for the Senate. Landrieu has a 42/52 approval rating, but Cassidy isn't popular either with 28% of voters rating him favorably to 36% who hold a negative opinion. Cassidy's name recognition has increased 14 points from February, but his negatives have gone up by 10 points while his positives have gone up only 4 points. Overall the story here remains constant- it's looking like a very close race that will be going on for a long time.
David Vitter continues to look like the early favorite in next year's race for Governor. He has solid approval ratings for his work in the Senate, with 48% giving him good marks to 35% who disapprove. In a match up with potential Democratic opponent John Bel Edwards, he leads big at 52/30. He would face tougher contests if he ended up in a runoff with fellow Republican Jay Dardenne, who he leads 40/34, or prospective Democratic candidate Mitch Landrieu, who he leads just 48/44.
One other finding from the poll is a bit of a cloud over the prospects for Democrats both this year and next- Barack Obama is quite unpopular in the state with only 39% of voters approving of him to 56% who disapprove. Democrats will need a lot of voters to put that aside in order for them to be successful in the next two elections.
Full results here