Magazine article Politics Magazine

Louisiana

Magazine article Politics Magazine

Louisiana

Article excerpt

IN AN ATTEMPT to change the narrative of the Louisiana Senate race, Democratic contender Charlie Melancon has taken to two time honored campaign tactics: He leaked his internal polling and accused his opponent of ethical misconduct.

In mid-March, the congressman released polling from about a month earlier that suggests the race between him and Republican Sen. David Vitter is closer than other polls have shown. The survey, conducted by Anzalone Liszt Research, showed Melancon trailing by 10 points, 48 percent to 38 percent with 15 percent uncommitted.

These numbers are by no means groundbreaking, but they show that Melancon could have a shot in a race that many consider solidly in the "R" column. A series of Rasmussen Reports polls, which Democrats typically say skew Republican, have put Vitter well ahead of Melancon. One also released in the middle of March showed Vitter leading 57 percent to 34 percent. Vitter also has a significant fundraising advantage, as his warchest is double the size of Melancon's.

"The perception is that there's a pretty wide gap between them,'" says John Maginnis, the author of the nonpartisan LA Politics Weekly. …

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