Magellan Strategies just polled two 2014 focal point state electorates from which we will be hearing a great deal in the coming months. Both the Arkansas and Louisiana statewide races could well determine the outcome of the battle for the Senate majority. Realistically, if the Republicans hope to have any chance of capturing control of the body late next year they will have to defeat three-term incumbent, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), and Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor (D) who is completing his second term in office.
The Magellan approach is interesting in that they asked virtually the same questions in each state during the same time period, and did not test either Sen. Landrieu or Pryor in a ballot test configuration. Rather, they concentrated solely on the incumbents’ re-elect score.
In both instances, the pollsters asked the respondents whether the incumbent in their state deserves re-election in 2014. After answering, several “push” questions were presented in order to determine attitudes and feelings about their senator’s support for the major Obama Administration policies. Then, a second re-elect was asked.
These are the push questions common to both surveys. In each instance, the respondent is asked if he/she is more or less likely to support the senator after hearing the statement:
1) The senator recently voted to support immigration reform legislation that offers amnesty to illegal aliens.
2) The senator supported President Obama’s agenda more than 95 percent (Landrieu) or 93 percent (Pryor) of the time.
3) The senator cast the deciding vote for Obamacare, which in some states has increased insurance premiums by 88 percent for people who buy their own insurance.
Here’s how the two senators fared:
|Landrieu (LA) – (July 29-30; 1,800 LA RV*)||Pryor (AR) – (July 30-31; 1,600 AR RV*)|
|1st Re-elect Q:||Yes 39%; New Candidate 51%||Yes 37%; New Candidate 47%|
|Immigration Reform:||28:50% negative||22:55% less likely|
|Obama agenda:, cell 1||34:55% less likely||30:59% less likely|
|Obamacare support:||29:60% less likely||27:60% less likely|
|2nd Re-elect Q:||Yes 31%; New Candidate 59%||Yes 30%; New Candidate 59%|
|* – Registered Voters|
In each case, after hearing the push questions – and there are several more unique questions posed about each senator – the re-elect response swells toward supporting a new candidate. In Sen. Landrieu’s case, the swing is a net 16 percentage points away from her; 19 points in Sen. Pryor’s situation.
Expect each of these issue themes to be a major attack point in these two critically important campaigns.