FOX 8 POLL: Economy, crime highest concerns for Louisiana governor’s race voters

Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 10:52 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The Louisiana governor’s race is heating up, with a new Gray TV-Fox 8 poll released Monday (Sept. 18) giving insight into the concerns that matter most to voters.

In the Mason-Dixon poll, 625 registered voters in Louisiana were interviewed over the telephone and all indicated they were likely to vote in the Oct. 14 primary election.

In less than a month, Louisiana voters will head to the polls and cast their primary vote toward electing a new governor. Even with unemployment numbers declining, most of those voters have their eyes on the job market.

“People need to earn enough money to be able to put food on the table for their children,” said Dillard University political analyst Dr. Robert Collins.

Voters we polled said they will be choosing the candidate they believe can best boost the state’s economy.

“What we’re seeing differences on is how the candidates want to grow the state, what industries they’ll focus on, that’s one of the differences in this campaign,” said Fox 8 political analyst Mike Sherman.

Second on most voters’ minds are Louisiana’s rising crime rates.

“It means that they’re actually experiencing more crime or perceiving more crime around them with their neighbors,” Collins said. “So, that is concerning. But that sort of matches a national trend that we see right now.”

Not all gubernatorial campaigns are focused on those main issues in their advertisements. Sherman says that’s because many candidates have been seeking greater recognition.

“Before the candidates can have a message about crime, jobs, education, schools, they have to first introduce themselves to voters,” Sherman said. “What stands out is that Jeff Landry is the only candidate right now who’s widely known to voters, so the other candidates need to first introduce themselves.”

One notable change from Fox 8′s similar polling in the 2019 election came in satisfaction with the way the state is operating overall.

Four years ago, most of the voters we polled said the state was on the “right track” and incumbent Gov. John Bel Edwards won re-election.

This year, Edwards is term-limited and 61% of those polled say things are on the “wrong track.”

“We’re going to have a new governor, no matter what. Therefore, the ‘right track-wrong track’ numbers don’t mean as much from a voting behavior standpoint,” Collins said.

Republican Jeff Landry is the current frontrunner, leading with 40% of the vote among poll respondents. Democrat Shawn Wilson was next, with 24% support from those polled.

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