Vance McAllister, Republican Congressman in LA-05 who earned eternal infamy as the "Kissing Congressman," reversed course earlier this year and announced that he would indeed seek reelection despite the protests of almost every Republican official and big wig in the state. The results of the newest poll in the race seem to indicate that while McAllister currently leads the field, it is Democratic Mayor of Monroe, Jamie Mayo, who will make the run off and prevail. Follow me below for some more good news.
The Glasscock group's poll of 519 likely voters ( I cannot vouch for their track record) as reported by Monroe's The News Star showed McAllister in the lead at 27%. However, Mayor Jamie Mayo, the sole Democrat in the 7 man race came in second at 21%.
What is more promising is that the same poll found that McAllister would lose in a run off to every single one of the other 6 candidates. Here are the results as reported:
Vance McAllister R: 27%
Jamie Mayo D: 21%
Ralph Abraham R: 18%
Zach Dasher R: 14%
Ed Tarpley R: 9%
Harris Brown R: 6%
Clay Grant L: 5%
Here is the interesting if puzzling part:
When asked if McAllister was in a runoff against any of the other candidates, 35 percent of those responding said they would vote for the incumbent, 36 percent said they would vote for his opponent and 29 percent said they would want and see who he faced before deciding.Yes this is some questionable reporting and it is a strange way to conduct a poll. According to Glasscock there are no undecided votes as the totals add up to 100%. Furthermore there are no posted individual numbers for the run off.
However if the methodology is anywhere near reliable and the numbers haven't been massaged behind the scenes, it seems to indicate that McAllister will make the run off but find little room to grow and win. It also makes a stronger case that it will be Mayo, as sole Democrat, who will likely make the run off. The other candidates may not finish in the order indicated, but any gains or losses between them, in what is in essence a quasi-primary, would likely come from other Republicans and not Mayo.
There are some other interesting tidbits of info regarding this district. The seat was formerly held by Rodney Alexander until 2012 before retiring in mid term. Alexander first won in 2002 as a Democrat before switching parties and continuing to hold the seat. LA-05 is notable for being the district with the largest African American population in the nation that is still held by a Republican. Alexander was notable for bucking the trend years ago and making outreach to the African American electorate a priority and it showed every election day, regardless of party affiliation.
While you may want to take this strange poll with a grain of salt, the writing on the wall is clear. Democrats can take this district. The incumbent Republican is damaged by scandal and is afloat only because he is by running against 5 other conservatives that split the Republican vote. Yes the District votes overwhelmingly Republican, but party registration is much closer to even and roughly 2/3 of the voters intend to vote for someone other than incumbent McAllister. What has yet to be seen is whether the national party will wake up and pour resources into this race. It is clearly a golden opportunity to pick up a blue seat in a deeply red state. Unfortunately, Mayo is largely going it alone. The state Democratic party has never been weaker in its entire history and just doesn't have the resources to make the difference. The national Democratic party has redlined much of the South choosing to focus its resources in other states and regions that are friendlier. BoiseBlue pointed this out in a recent diary here on DK.
This is an enormous mistake to make when there are races that can be won. This is as close to low hanging fruit as you will find in almost any Republican held district in the country, but there is precious little evidence of substantial national resources being devoted to Mayo's campaign, particularly when it comes to GOTV efforts. If Mayo were to prevail, he would be in good shape to hold the seat in 2016 where PPP polls show Clinton to be so popular as to beat Bobby Jindal one on one. Whether the Democratic big wigs at the national level wake up and smell a potential victory worthy of their invaluable support remains to be seen.