BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The head of Louisiana's Republican party said he is not buying the results of a Raycom Media poll that resulted in former KKK grand wizard David Duke qualifying for a U.S. Senate Debate in November.
Duke is one of six candidates who polled above five percent, making them eligible for the debate that will be held November 2 at Dillard University in New Orleans.
Duke barely made the cut as he only had 5.1 percent in a poll that was paid for by Raycom, which owns WAFB and three other Louisiana television stations.
The leaders of the Republican and Democratic parties spoke about Duke's participation during Monday's Baton Rouge Press Club meeting. The Republican leader Jason Dore suggested something more is at play for Raycom with ratings.
"I don't know how that happened. Why the only poll that he was at 5 was the one that mattered for the Raycom debate. Certainly, it might help them with ratings," Dore said.
"This is what makes me nervous about this is that he's going to be getting more attention, more attention for Louisiana that's not good attention, more attention when we're trying to bring home money to help repairs from these two floods," said Stephan Handwerk with the state's Democratic party.
Regional news director Vicki Zimmerman said the five percent threshold for inclusion in Raycom's debates is something the stations have consistently used for years. She added that Raycom has no doubt the poll by nationally-recognized Mason-Dixon Polly and Research is accurate and unbiased.
"We are committed to producing a program that is fair and informative for Louisianans to choose their next U.S. senator," Zimmerman said.