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back to the bayou

August 22, 2013

Public Policy Polling, a North Carolina polling firm with an impressive record of accuracy, is known to ask the occasional odd question.  In July of 2011 it discovered that God had a 52% approval rating.  That same month it found that only 19% of GOP primary voters polled thought Obama would ascend to heaven in the Rapture; 51% thought Sarah Palin would.

 

And it was PPP that revealed this May that 27% of Americans think that hipsters should be taxed for being so annoying.  So it wasn’t completely out of left field when the company informed us this week that 29% of Louisiana Republicans blame Obama for the federal government’s poor response to Hurricane Katrina.

 

Let’s review: in late August 2005, as Katrina swirled toward the Gulf Coast, Obama was eight months into his freshman year as a senator from Illinois.  George Bush sat in the Oval Office, and that’s about all he did during the storm.  He did venture out to pose for a photo op flying over the damage, and to laud FEMA director Michael Brown for a heckuva job.

 

Only 28% in the poll found Bush responsible; 44% weren’t sure, but they’ve only had eight years to decide.

 

I came of age in Louisiana, married and started a family there.  It wasn’t a stretch for me to believe that jaw-dropping stat, which was the one that got the headlines.  But when I started reading other questions in the poll, my jaw sagged a bit.

 

It didn’t surprise me that 65% of those polled had a favorable opinion of New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Peyton and 81% liked quarterback Drew Brees.  It didn’t surprise me that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who suspended Peyton for the entire 2012 season because of the Saints “bounty program”, only pulled a 19% approval.

 

Nor did the approval ratings of Mother Theresa (81%), Abraham Lincoln (78%) and Duck Dynasty (47%).  Jesus Christ was the big winner with 97%.  Only 2% were undecided.  That was the least surprise of all.  If you’ll accept Arkansas as the buckle of the Bible Belt and Texas and Florida as the legs of the Bible Pants, that makes Louisiana the zipper.

 

Once in high school, in pursuit of a classmate, I agreed to go with her to her church.  I don’t remember the denomination, but it involved speaking in tongues and writhing on floor.  I suppose it was meant to scare the hell out of me, but it only succeeded in scaring the shit out.  That was my last intentional contact with fundamentalism.

 

But I digress.  What really caught my eye in the PPP poll were hints that the bayou state isn’t as politically red as I thought.  Sure, 63% oppose gay marriage, but in a separate question, 23% support it and 33% support legal unions.  And a whopping 75% support background checks for all gun sales.

 

Hilary Clinton is much more popular in the Pelican State that I would have guessed.  In hypothetical match-ups for President in 2016, she edges out Chris Christie 42 – 41% , ties Jeb Bush at 44%, and is barely edged out by Rand Paul (45 – 44%) and Paul Ryan (46 – 44%).

 

She, in fact, would beat Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal 47 – 40%.  Jindal was once a rising star in the GOP.  He was chosen to respond to Obama’s 2009 speech to a joint session of Congress, where Obama discussed his stimulus plan.  Jindal seemed unprepared and amateurish, almost as if he’d been selected at random at the last second.

 

Now he’s fighting for his political life because of a controversial plan he had to back away from this April that would have abolished the state income tax and expanded sales taxes.  His approval rating is 28%, well behind Obama’s of 41% in the state.  Nearly three in four respondents didn’t want Jindal to run for President.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 Comments
  1. August 22, 2013 3:02 pm

    Got to you via Kathy (kitchenblogic)…
    Thanks for this post… Just goes to show ya

    • September 5, 2013 8:46 am

      You’re welcome and thank you for stopping by. I apologize for taking so long to respond. Comments are no longer showing up on my g-mail account. How can I access your blog? You seem to be surrounded by interesting beings both two and four legged.

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