Nov. 30, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Bernie Pinsonat, Southern Media & Opinion Research (225) 405-6797
Ann Edelman, Zehnder Communications (225) 242-9000
Jindal’s Popularity Slips Further
in Latest SMOR La. Voter Survey
BATON ROUGE, La. – Southern Media & Opinion Research Inc. has
released its latest survey of Louisiana voters on key issues at the state
and federal level, as well as job approval ratings for several of the state’s
top elected officials.
The poll, developed and conducted by Southern Opinion & Media
Research, included telephone interviews with 600 randomly selected
Louisiana voters from Nov. 15-17. The overall margin of error is 4
percentage points at a 95 percent level of confidence.
Among the findings:
• Gov. Bobby Jindal’s approval rating plummets to 55 percent – a 13-
point drop from nearly 68 percent in April 2009. Jindal’s negative
job rating is up to 43 percent from 37 percent in the spring 2010
survey. Jindal’s well publicized out-of-state travels remain
unpopular among respondents as well.
• State Treasurer John Kennedy now has the highest approval rating
for statewide elected officials at 61 percent. His advocacy for
reducing the number of state employees is popular among
• A significant number of respondents – 39 percent – said conditions
in Louisiana were getting worse, while 19 percent said conditions
were getting better.
• While the state faces deep budget cuts, raising taxes would be very
unpopular. Seventy-two percent of respondents said state tax
dollars are being spent unwisely, while 62 percent said they think
the state’s financial crisis is caused by too much spending.
• More than half of the respondents – 55 percent – said they would
rather spare health care than higher education from budget cuts.
• Setting up what could be a contentious issue in the 2011 legislative
session, a mere 8 percent of respondents agreed that unclassified
state employees making more than $175,000 per year is justified.
This survey was funded by Lane Grigsby in an effort to share the thoughts
of the electorate with Louisiana elected officials. Grigsby has committed to
underwriting a Louisiana voter survey biannually. For more information
and to view the complete survey results and analysis, visit
Southern Media & Opinion Research
Fall 2010 Survey Analysis
Jindal’s popularity plummets
The November poll shows Gov. Bobby Jindal’s approval rating was 55
percent – a 13-point drop from nearly 68 percent in April 2009. Meanwhile,
Jindal’s negative job rating is up to 43 percent from 37 percent in the
spring 2010 survey.
Jindal Performance Positive Negative
Fall 2010 55 43
Spring 2010 61 37
Fall 2009 64 33
Spring 2009 68 30
Jindal no longer is Louisiana’s most popular statewide elected official.
State Treasurer John Kennedy has a 61 percent approval rating. Attorney
General Buddy Caldwell has a 60 percent job approval. Sen. David Vitter
has 56 percent approval. Sen. Mary Landrieu has a 54 percent approval
rating. Newly elected Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne has a 51 percent approval
When respondents were asked if they would vote for Landrieu:
• 36 percent said they would definitely vote to re-elect her.
• 22 percent said they would consider someone else.
• 40 percent said they would definitely vote for someone else
• 2 percent said they didn’t know or would or wouldn’t respond
When asked if they would vote for Jindal:
• 39 percent said they would definitely vote to re-elect him.
• 23 percent said they would consider someone else.
• 35 percent said they would definitely vote for someone else
• 3 percent said they didn’t know or would or wouldn’t respond
The results demonstrate Jindal’s loss of popularity – 39 percent of
respondents saying they would “definitely” vote to re-elect him is not a
strong endorsement. Further, Jindal’s prospects for re-election essentially
are the same as Sen. Landrieu. This does not suggest Jindal cannot be
re-elected, but the results indicate many voters are not committed to vote
Southern Media & Opinion Research Winter 2010 Survey Analysis – Page 1
Almost half – 46 percent – of all respondents disapproved of Jindal’s travel
to other states. Among Republicans, 28 percent disapproved of the travel
while 28 percent also said they would consider voting for someone other
As the governor touts his accomplishments on a national stage, survey
results indicate many Louisiana residents are unhappy with the conditions
of roads, elementary and secondary education, higher education,
management of state government, lack of job opportunities and public
A significant number of respondents – 39 percent – said conditions in
Louisiana were getting worse, while 19 percent said conditions were
getting better. Jindal’s out-of-state traveling is affecting his popularity back
home, especially when so many respondents have a negative outlook
toward the most vital functions of state government.
State Treasurer Kennedy has a solid job performance rating of 61 percent
and a relatively low negative rating at 19 percent. His advocacy for
reducing the number of state employees was popular among respondents.
Nineteen percent of respondents said they didn’t know enough about him
to rate his job performance.
Meanwhile, a mere 8 percent of respondents said they believe an
unclassified political appointee or state executive making more than
$175,000 per year is justified. Twenty-four percent said such
compensation is unjustified, while 64 percent said a salary of more than
$175,000 for such employees was outrageous. The results portend what
could be a contentious issue in the 2011 legislative session.
Seventy-two percent of respondents said they did not believe their tax
dollars are being spent wisely. This indicates difficulty for advocates of
higher taxes to avoid deep cuts to programs. Sixty-two percent of
respondents said they think the state’s financial crisis is caused by too
much spending, while 32 percent said they believe the state does not
have enough revenue.
Respondents also do not favor balancing the state budget by raising
income or sales taxes, or by increasing taxes on businesses. About two
thirds said they favor raising taxes on cigarettes.
Southern Media & Opinion Research Winter 2010 Survey Analysis – Page 2
Sixty percent of respondents, particularly Republicans, opposed raising
gasoline taxes to fund new highway construction. According to the results,
many believe Louisiana highways are bad and that the state is wasting the
taxes they already pay. Also, 68 percent consider suspending tax
exemptions a tax increase.
A state senator’s recent proposal to offset higher-education budget deficits
by raising state income taxes for middle- and upper- income households
was unpopular with respondents with 64 percent opposed.
When asked which sector – health care or higher education – respondents
preferred to protect from budget cuts, 55 percent favored protecting health
care while 28 percent favored higher education.
Democrats want health care protected more than higher education three
to one, and Republicans are evenly split.
Fifty-eight percent of respondents agreed with Treasurer Kennedy that
Louisiana has too many state employees.
Sixty percent of respondents favor keeping the so-called Bush tax cuts in
place, while 31 percent want those cuts to expire for people making more
than $250,000 per year. This is not surprising in light of how 60 percent of
all respondents want the state budget cut without raising taxes.
Southern Media & Opinion Research Winter 2010 Survey Analysis – Page 3