Public Policy Polling's newest Louisiana poll finds Bill Cassidy with a slight lead over Mary Landrieu in a possible December runoff election, 48/45. The two candidates had been tied at 47 on PPP's last look at the race in late June. Neither candidate is very popular with voters. 37% of voters have a favorable opinion of Cassidy to 41% with an unfavorable opinion, numbers that while poor are actually slightly improved from a -8 net favorability rating on the previous poll at 28/36. Landrieu's approval numbers are worse though- 42% give her good marks to 52% who disapprove. Those numbers are identical to what they were in late June.
There has been a lot of speculation about how turnout might influence the dynamics in a December runoff election, and on that front we find something that is at least a little disturbing for Democrats. 89% of likely voters for November also say that they will definitely vote in a runoff election if there is one. Among those voters Cassidy's lead expands to 50/45. Among the 11% of voters who say just they will probably vote, that the chances are 50/50, or that they will probably not vote Landrieu leads by 13 points at 40/27. Making sure those folks actually come back out in December will be key to her chances.
Landrieu does at least continue to have a clear lead in the November election. 42% of voters say they will support her to 34% for Bill Cassidy and 12% for Rob Maness with 2% saying they will support one of the other minor candidates in the race. Maness continues to be no real threat to Cassidy's chances of finishing in the top two- he is now 22 points out of second place compared to 19 points back on our late July poll.
Cassidy leads Landrieu in the runoff based on two key things: he leads with independents at 46/37, and he is also winning over 18% of Democrats compared to the 13% of Republicans Landrieu is getting. This race features about as large of a racial divide as we ever see- Cassidy is up 68/24 with white voters, while Landrieu leads 89/7 with African Americans.
On a lighter note Landrieu's well publicized efforts to help an LSU student with a keg stand at a football game are not part of her problem. 61% of voters in the state either say they approved of Landrieu doing that or that they don't care, compared to only 36% who express disapproval.
Other notes from Louisiana: