Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Vitter Leads Melancon by 20 Points in Louisiana Senate Race

Via The Dead Pelican, Magellan's latest poll in Louisiana shows some interesting trends regarding the upcoming U.S. Senate race in Louisiana between Senator David Vitter (R) and Representative Charlie Melancon (D).  According to Magellan, Vitter has the clear advantage in that race by a 20 point margin.

Vitter's largest margin is among Republicans with a +75 but he holds strong with Independents, too, with a +12 lead over Melancon.

This differs somewhat from the findings reported by CQ Politics:

A new Public Policy Polling (D) survey released exclusively to Roll Call showed Melancon trailing Vitter by 9 points, 46 percent to 37 percent. Vitter led by a dozen points in July 2009, the last time PPP surveyed the contest.

 Melancon and Vitter have been trading shots over Obama's drilling moratorium.  Senator Vitter contends that Rep. Melancon supports the moratorium but Melancon adamantly denies that charge.  The difference of opinion seems to be in the phrasing.  Vitter has demanded an end to the moratorium where Melancon has not, exactly. 

The Huffington Post reported that Melancon is against the moratorium:

"We need to find a place between 'Drill Baby Drill!" and the moratorium," he [Melancon] conceded. "But I also start out by saying I don't support the moratorium and I've been consistent on that."

WWL Radio out of New Orleans has Melancon, while not demanding an end to the moratorium, demanding a higher level of safety protocol, a measure Vitter also supports:

"We don't stop doing what we're doing, let's just make sure we're doing it safe for the workers and the environment," Melancon said. 

The difference is that Melancon won't just come out and call for an end to the moratorium.  Louisiana depends heavily on oil industry related jobs and its been widely reported that the moratorium will be a death blow for the Louisiana economy. 

Melancon's chief campaign strategy so far seems to have been taking shots at Vitter.  His strategy now has shifted a bit with the spill crisis raising his level of visibility somewhat.  Melancon has criticized Vitter for politicizing the oil leak crisis while at the same time taking full advantage of it himself.

The Magellan Poll also polled registered voters on their opinion of the handling of the oil spill:

Just look at that one for a minute.  

On other issues, Melancon is against repeal of Obamacare where Vitter filed legislation to repeal.  Melancon voted for the Stimulus bill last year whereas Vitter voted against it.  Their differences on the issues are as you might expect but in the end it seems that Vitter is in a strong position to retain his Senate seat and continue his work on behalf of Louisiana.

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