November 25, 2002
A MORE REALISTIC STATE OF PLAY IN LA:Landrieu Out Front Early, But ... (Clancy DuBos, 11 19 02, Best of New Orleans)
Statewide, Landrieu leads 51.4 percent to 36.4 percent, with the rest undecided or refusing to state a preference.
Along racial lines, Landrieu leads among black voters, 87.6 percent to 2.8 percent; Terrell leads among whites, 50.1 percent to 36.4 percent.
Those numbers are good for Landrieu not so much because of her strong black support, which was no surprise, but because she does as well as she does among whites. Historically, Republicans running statewide get almost no black vote, as Terrell does here. Because blacks comprise 29 percent of the statewide electorate, a Republican has to beat a Democrat by a 2-1 margin among whites to win -- even with a higher white turnout. Terrell is nowhere close to doing that in the SLU poll.
The weakness for Landrieu in the primary was the extremely low turnout among black voters. African-American turnout was at least 20 percent lower than white turnout -- 30 percent lower in some areas. The SLU poll shows the race gets closer and closer as the disparity between black and white turnout grows. If the turnout differential is 30 percent, the two candidates run virtually even in the SLU survey.
At that point the poll actually was more a reflection of name recognition than anything else. One doubts that 50% of voters even knew who Ms Terrell was on Election Day. In fact, the low support among whites could reflect the respondents not even knowing her race. Ms Landrieu, on the other hand, is well known and one would assume that the 13.5% of white undecideds are likely to break overwhelmingly for her opponent. Then it just comes down to turnout. Posted by Orrin Judd at November 25, 2002 10:25 AM