Bill Cassidy appears headed for a victory on the Louisiana runoff. A defeat for Sen. Mary Landrieu would make her the last statewide Southern Democrat to fall. And nearly everyone supports body cameras for the police. This is HuffPollster for Friday, December 5, 2014.
CASSIDY FAR AHEAD IN LOUISIANA - A Republican sponsored poll in Louisiana conducted just before Thanksgiving but released on Thursday gives GOP Senate challenger Bill Cassidy his biggest lead yet over incumbent Democrat Mary Landrieu. The telephone survey, conducted by the firm Wilson Perkins Allen Opinion Research for Independent Women's Voice, a group that supports Republican candidates, gave Cassidy a 24 percentage point lead (57 to 33 percent). Five polls conducted since Louisiana's November 4 primary election have given Cassidy smaller double-digit leads, although all but one, conducted by Rasmussen Reports, were conducted by Republican pollsters or sponsored by groups supporting Cassidy. Louisiana will hold its runoff election on Saturday. The HuffPost Pollster poll tracking model, based on all of the public polling data, estimates Cassidy's lead at roughly 14 percentage points (54.8 to 40.6 percent) as of this writing. The WPA poll is the first publicly released poll since the primary to use live interviewers and call both landline and mobile telephones. [WPA, IWVoice, Pollster chart]
Same firm predicted Hogan win in Maryland - WPA is the firm that polled for Maryland Governor-elect Larry Hogan. Their last survey for Hogan, released publicly just before the election, showed the Republican leading Democrat Anthony Brown by 5 percentage points, matching Hogan's 5-point margin of victory on election day. Polls with independent sponsorship in Maryland, mostly conducted earlier in October, had shown Democrat Anthony Brown ahead. [Pollster chart for Maryland, Maryland results; see also 538]
CASSIDY DOMINATES AIRWAVES - The Center for Public Integrity: "At least on the television airwaves, Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., is facing what's perhaps the end of her political career alone.. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, super PACs and nonprofit groups, which together supported Landrieu's general election campaign with more than 19,000 TV ads worth millions of dollars, have effectively abandoned her during her runoff against Republican Bill Cassidy, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of data from Kantar Media/CMAG, an ad tracking service. Groups backing Landrieu have aired fewer than 100 TV ads since Nov. 5, with most of those coming from the Humane Society Legislative Fund. That's less than 1 percent of the 14,000 TV ads that have aired during the Landrieu vs. Cassidy runoff." Although ads sponsored by the Landrieu campaign have aired roughly 3000 times since the runoff, according to CPI, the total television advertising aired in support Landrieu has amounted to less than a quarter of the ads aired boosting Cassidy. [CPI]
LANDRIEU ONE OF THE LAST SOUTHERN DEMS TO FALL - Nate Cohn: " After President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, he reportedly told a fellow Democrat that the party had lost the South for a long time to come. It took more than a generation for old Southern loyalties to the Democrats to fade, but that vision is on the verge of being realized this weekend. If Mary Landrieu, a Democratic senator from Louisiana, loses re-election in Saturday’s runoff election, as expected, the Republicans will have vanquished the last vestige of Democratic strength in the once solidly Democratic Deep South. In a region stretching from the high plains of Texas to the Atlantic coast of the Carolinas, Republicans would control not only every Senate seat, but every governor’s mansion and every state legislative body. Democrats held or controlled nearly every one of them when Mr. Johnson signed that bill in 1964. And they still held a majority as recently as a decade ago. Ms. Landrieu’s defeat would essentially mark an end to the era of the Southern Democrats: the conservative, Southern, white officials, supported by white Southerners, whose conflicted views helped define American politics for half a century. Today, nearly all of the Democrats holding federal or statewide office in the South will represent so-called 'majority-minority' districts or areas with a large number of new residents from outside the region." [NYT]
DEMS STRUGGLED DOWNBALLOT NATIONALLY - Amy Walter: "Democrats lost badly at the congressional level in 2014. That, of course, got a lot of coverage. Democrats also took huge losses at the state level. That didn’t get a lot of attention. State legislators get coverage when they do something stupid or illegal (or both). Even so, Democrats losses at the state level are a more profound problem for Democrats than the loss of the Senate….Today, about 55 percent of all state legislative seats in the country are held by Republicans. That’s the largest share of GOP state legislators since the 1920s. Just 11 states have an all Democratic-controlled legislature, while Republicans have a legislative majority in 30 states, including the battleground states of Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina. Before the 2014 election, Democrats had single-party control (legislature and governor) in 15 states. Post-2014, that number is down to seven. A continuing realignment in the South from Democratic stronghold to GOP bastion has contributed to GOP gains at the legislative level….With legislative control comes redistricting control. The more entrenched the GOP majorities become, the harder it will be for Democrats to break out of the minority in either the legislature or at the congressional level." [Cook]
SUPPORT FOR BODY CAMS, DOJ INVESTIGATION - HuffPollster: "A slim majority of Americans approve of a grand jury's decision not to indict Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown, a HuffPost/YouGov poll finds -- but most also support a separate civil rights investigation into the police department and a proposal for officers to wear body cameras. Fifty-two percent of poll respondents said they approve of the grand jury's decision in Ferguson, while 33 percent disapproved and 15 percent were unsure. Fifty-five percent said they have some or a lot of confidence that the investigation into his death was fairly conducted….However, the poll also found majority support for a Justice Department investigation into whether officers in the Ferguson Police Department routinely used racial profiling or excessive force, with 58 percent calling it a good idea and just 25 percent saying it's a bad idea. An overwhelming 84 percent of Americans said they support a proposal for police officers to wear body cameras, the poll found. The idea has been widely floated since the shooting, and was publicly backed by Michael Brown's family. Half say they strongly support the proposal." [HuffPost]
HUFFPOLLSTER VIA EMAIL! - You can receive this daily update every weekday morning via email! Just click here, enter your email address, and and click "sign up." That's all there is to it (and you can unsubscribe anytime).
FRIDAY'S 'OUTLIERS' - Links to the best of news at the intersection of polling, politics and political data:
-Corruption is growing as a global worry. [Pew Research]
-Minor crimes get unusually high attention in Eric Garner's neighborhood. 
-Lindsey Graham is one of the least known of potential GOP presidential candidates. [YouGov]
-Less than a third of American got into an argument about politics with their family over Thanksgiving. [YouGov]
-There's a lot we don't know about prime numbers. [Business Insider]