Louisianaâ€™s race for the U.S. Senate looks largely the same way it has since the beginning of the year, with incumbent Republican David Vitter continuing to earn over 50% of the vote in a state with unusually high Tea Party membership.
The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in Louisiana finds Vitter, who is seeking a second six-year term, with 53% support. His Democratic challenger, Congressman Charlie Melancon, picks up 35% of the vote. Three percent (3%) like some other candidate, and nine percent (9%) are undecided.
In April, Vitter posted a similar lead over Melancon.
Since January, Vitterâ€™s support has never fallen below the 50% mark considered critical for incumbents, ranging instead from 52% to 57%. Melancon, by contrast, has been unable to break out of the 30s, with his support holding in the 33% to 36% range.
The Republican leads by nearly 30 points among male voters and by a more modest 11 points among women. He holds a three-to-one lead among voters not affiliated with either major party.
Vitter has accused Melancon of supporting President Obamaâ€™s six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling following the disastrous oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico. In a state highly dependent on the oil industry, voters strongly support both offshore and deepwater drilling despite the environmental catastrophe that is already washing oil onto Louisiana shores. Melancon has denied the accusation, part of a continuing effort by Vitter to link the Democrat to the president who is unpopular in the state.
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The survey of 500 Likely Voters in Louisiana was conducted on June 24, 2010 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 4.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.
Melancon is one of the few Democrats in Congress who voted against the national health care bill which remains highly unpopular in Louisiana. Sixty-seven percent (67%) of the stateâ€™s voters favor repeal of that bill, well above voter sentiments nationally. Just 28% oppose repeal. This includes 58% who Strongly Favor repeal of the bill, and 16% who are Strongly Opposed.
Seventy-six percent (76%) of those who Strongly Favor repeal support Vitter, while 72% of those in the much smaller group who are Strongly Opposed back Melancon.
Fifty-nine percent (59%) of Louisiana voters favor passage of an immigration law like Arizonaâ€™s in their state, slightly higher than the view nationally. Twenty-four percent (24%) oppose such a law in Louisiana, and 17% more are not sure.
Vitter gets 71% of the vote from those who favor an Arizona-like law. Seventy-four percent (74%) opposed to a law like that in the state support Melancon.
Three-out-of-four Louisiana voters (76%) support one of the chief provisions of the Arizona law, requiring a local police officer to check the immigration status of anyone stopped for a traffic violation or some other kind of violation if he suspects that person is an illegal immigrant.
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