New Louisiana polling data to be released later today shows David Vitter maintaining a double digit lead over his likely rival, Rep. Charlie Melancon, and benefiting from the fact that the electorate there remains largely in the dark about his scandals.
Public Policy Polling surveyed 403 likely voters from August 21-22 and found that, in a two way race, 41 percent now say they’d vote for Melancon, 51 would choose Vitter, and 8 percent remain undecided. The latest TPM PollTracker average gives Vitter a nearly 13 point margin over Melancon. In June, PPP found Vitter ahead 46-37. As of now there are multiple third party candidates in the race. The winner must receive a plurality of the votes.Vitter, according to the poll, continues to enjoy majority support in Louisiana, with 53 percent saying they have a favorable opinion of him (41 percent disapprove and six percent unsure). Over a quarter of voters by contrast — 26 percent to be exact — don’t know what to think of Melancon. The same number give him high marks, and 48 percent say they have an unfavorable view.
Yesterday, PPP unveiled a handful of the toplines of this same poll, suggesting that a great number of voters are still unaware of Vitter’s recent travails, including prostitution scandals, and the more recent discovery that he knowingly employed a top aide for two years after the aide attacked his girlfriend with a knife. Only 21 percent say Vitter is a “good model” of Christian living. But 44 percent say he’s not a good model, and 35 percent say they don’t know.
On Saturday, voters will choose between Vitter and his primary rival Chet Traylor. Vitter appears to be sitting pretty in that race: PPP finds only 11 percent have a favorable approval of Traylor. A quarter of respondents don’t like him and the overwhelming majority — 64 percent — aren’t sure. Traylor and his allies have yet to make a showing in TV ads, three days before Saturday’s election.
PPP finds Melancon in better shape in a hypothetical matchup against the extremely unknown Traylor: 40-39 with 21 percent undecided.