LSU PPRL shows Louisianans' stance before Presidential Election

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

Just before Election Day, LSU's Public Policy Research Lab, or PPRL, which is funded by the Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs at LSU's Manship School of Mass Communication, conducted a survey to gauge Louisiana's position before the presidential elections. Where do Louisiana residents stand on the presidential race? What is the most important issue to Louisianans? Where are they getting their news from?

This survey was conducted to understand sentiment among the entire Louisiana adult population; not just registered voters as is commonly done for politically-themed surveys. Readers are asked to remember that it was collected via randomly selected phone numbers within the state, not via registered voter files.

The Vote:

More than half of Louisiana self-reported registered voters said if the election were held today they'd vote for Romney (53.9 percent) compared to a little more than one in three (36.4 percent) for Obama.

Nearly one in four (19.4 percent) of Louisiana Democrats said they would vote for Romney.

§ Keep in mind the above data Romney/Obama question is among self-reported registered voters, it is not taken from registered voter files, but from a random sampling of the Louisiana adult population. Therefore, please treat the numbers with some degree of caution.

More than four out of five (83.7 percent ) Louisiana residents said they are definitely voting on Tuesday.

For two out of five (40.6 percent) Louisiana residents, the most important issue in this presidential election is the economy.

Healthcare comes in second at 21 percent.

When directly asked, 51 percent of residents think Romney will do a better job improving the economy compared to 41 percent of residents who think Obama will do a better job.

Nearly two out of three (64 percent) residents said they are very or fairly satisfied with the presidential candidates this year. An enthusiasm gap may exist with Louisiana Republicans though.

Satisfaction is higher among Democrats; 36.5 percent are very satisfied and 36.4 percent are fairly satisfied (72.9 percent total).

For Republicans, only 18.4 percent are very satisfied and 47.6 percent are fairly satisfied (66 percent total).

Voting Anecdotes:

Despite being a red state, more than three out of four (76 percent ) of Louisiana residents think that their vote "counts." This belief is roughly even along party lines.

Just more than one in four (25.5 percent) of Louisiana residents mistakenly believe that the president is elected via popular vote, not via the Electoral College.

In fact, seven out of 10 Louisiana residents (70.3 percent) think the Electoral College should be abolished and the presidential election should switch to popular vote. This is also roughly even along party lines.

Louisiana residents think policy ideas matter more than funding when it comes to running for president. Nearly three out of four (73 percent) of residents think the candidate with the best policy ideas will win in a presidential election; 22 percent of Louisiana residents think the candidate with the most money will win.

Independents (28.4 percent ) are more likely to think the candidate with the most money will win, compared to Democrats (16.8 percent ) and Republicans (20 percent).

News Sources:

Nearly three out of four (72 percent ) Louisiana residents get most of their news about the presidential election from television. Forty-three percent report getting most of their news from national TV and 29 percent from local TV.

Party identification plays a key role here. Republicans (15.8 percent) are more likely than Democrats (6.6 percent) to report getting most of their news from the Internet. For reference, 18.1 percent of Independents report getting most of their news from the Internet.

Democrats are far more likely to get most of their presidential election news from local TV (42.8 percent) compared to Republicans (19.9 percent).

Republicans (50.9 percent) are more likely than Democrats (38.1 percent) to get most of their presidential election news from national TV.

This data was collected via a statewide telephone survey conducted from Oct. 8 through Oct. 23 by the LSU Public Policy Research Lab. There were 245 interviews collected randomly via cell phone and 456 interviews were collected randomly via landline for a total of 701 responses. Data is weighted by age, gender, race and education to closely match the most recent census data.

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