Tracking Louisiana Opinions
A Publication of the Florida Parishes Social Science Research Center

The SLU Poll: The 2002 Statewide U. S. Senate Primary Election

"If the election for United States Senator were held todaywould you vote for John Cooksey, Mary Landrieu,
Tony Perkins, Suzanne Terrell or someone else?"
 
Cooksey  10.4%
Landrieu 43.5%
Perkins 4.9%
Terrell 14.9%
Other 7.1%
Undec./Ref. 19.1%

Approximately 57% of registered voters approve of President Bush's handling of the economy and foreign policy.

However, only about 29% believe that the U. S. should act alone against Iraq.

Random Sample Size: 537
Sampling Error: + 4.3%
Conducted October 18-24, 2002



The SLU Poll: The 2002 Statewide U. S. Senate Primary Election

In the most recent SLU Poll of registered voters statewide, Mary Landrieu has a substantial lead in the race to retain her seat in the United States Senate, but whether she can win in the primary is still uncertain.  If Landrieu is forced into a runoff, the likely runoff opponent could be either Suzanne Terrell or John Cooksey.
     In addition, although voters in Louisiana give President George W. Bush mostly positive ratings regarding his handling of the economy and foreign policy, relatively few support the idea of the United States acting alone against Iraq instead of acting in conjunction with the United Nations.
     These SLU Poll results are based on a statewide random sample of 537 registered voters, interviewed between October 18-24, 2002.  The sampling error is + 4.3%.

The U. S. Senate Primary

It is clear from the data (Tables 1 through 3) that Landrieu has a comfortable lead heading into the primary, receiving 43.5% of the vote from those surveyed.  While this amounts to about 54% from among decided voters, turnout among voters will be crucial to determining whether she can avoid a runoff election in December.  Terrell and Cooksey have 14.9% and 10.4% of the choices, respectively.  Since both scores are within the sampling error, the race for second place is too close to call.  Tony Perkins trails the other three major candidates badly with 4.9%.  Other candidates receive a total of 7.1%, while 19.1% of respondents are undecided or refuse to state a preference.
     Landrieu's good fortunes extend throughout nearly all demographic categories.  For example, she gets 70.1% of the black vote, 32.6% of the white vote, 41.1% of the male vote, and 45.4% of the vote among women.  Her support runs largely in the low to mid 40s in most education and income categories.  Although Landrieu leads without regard to age and region, she receives 50.8% of the vote among voters 45 to 59 years of age and 53.1% of the choices from voters in Southeastern Louisiana.
     Only among Republican voters does Landrieu not lead.  In fact, Terrell receives 31.8% of Republican choices, Cooksey 18.8%, and Landrieu 13.9%.  Landrieu gets 63.0% of the choices among Democrats and 39.8% among independent voters.
 
Table 1: The Senate Primary by Race, Gender, and Party Identification. 
"If the election for United States Senator were held today, would you vote for John Cooksey, Mary Landrieu, Tony Perkins, Suzanne Terrell or someone else?"
Total Black White Male Female Democrat Independent Republican
Cooksey 10.4% 3.2% 13.4% 11.5% 9.5% 6.1% 10.4% 18.8%
Landrieu 43.5 70.1 32.6 41.1 45.4 63.0 39.8 13.9
Perkins 4.9 6.9 3.5 6.0 4.3 3.4 7.3
Terrell 14.9 1.5 20.5 20.5 10.4 5.5 16.7 31.8
Other 7.1 11.5 5.4 7.3 7.0 7.8 9.1 4.3
Don't know/refused 19.1 13.7 21.2 16.0 21.5 13.3 20.8 23.8
N= 537 156 381 241 296 240 130 130

 
Table 2: The Senate Primary by Education and Annual Family Income.
HS Diploma Some College College Degree <$20Th $20-40Th $40-60th $60Th+
Cooksey  12.6% 8.7% 10.0% 5.6%  12.2%  13.3% 10.2%
Landrieu  44.9   42.4 43.6 52.1 43.8 43.0 46.3
Perkins 4.2 5.8 4.5 5.7 4.3 2.7 3.7
Terrell  8.9 19.8  19.4  5.9 16.6 14.0  22.2
Other 7.0 7.4 7.7 7.0 9.5 6.4  3.7
Don't know/refused 22.4  15.5 14.8 23.7 12.8 21.0 14.8
N =             214 161 149 114 141 100  108

 
Table 3: The Senate Primary by Age and Region.
        .       <44 yrs. 45-59 yrs. 60+ yrs Cajun Triangle Southeast Louisiana North/Central La.
Cooksey 11.0% 9.8% 10.5% 11.2% 6.0% 17.6%
Landrieu 40.9 50.8 39.9 34.9 53.1 36.3
Perkins 4.5 1.4 7.9 5.8 4.1 5.4
Terrell 8.4 17.3 17.6 19.0 14.6 10.6
Other 11.7 6.7 4.3 4.8 7.2 9.9
Don't know/refushed 22.7 13.6 19.5 24.2 15.2 20.3
N= 154 162 221 161 243 133

The Presidents Approval Ratings and the Crisis with Iraq

We asked voters to tell us what they thought about President Bush's performance in office.  Generally, 56.6% of voters approve of his handling of the economy, while 57.1% approve of the way in which he has handled foreign policy.  On the other hand, only 28.7% believe that the U. S. should act alone against Iraq, while 51.5% believe that we should act only with the United Nations.
 
Table 4: Presidential Approval Ratings. 
"Generally speaking, would you say that you approve or disapprove of George W. Bush's handling of (the economy/foreign policy)?....Do you feel strongly about this or not?"
Economy Foreign Policy
Strongly Approve 32.3% 38.3%
Approve 24.3 18.8
Disapprove 11.8 9.4
Strongly Disapprove 18.6 21.2
Don't know/refused 13.0 12.3
N= 537 537

 
Table 5: How to act against Iraq. 
"Do you think that there is any good reason for the 
U.S. to act alone against Iraq or should we only act with the United Nations?....Do you feel strongly about this or not?"
Act alone, feel strongly 17.8
Act alone 11.0
Only with UN 17.0
Only with UN, feel strongly 34.5
Don't act at all 2.0
Don't know/refused 17.7
N= 537

About the SLU Poll

The Director of the SLU Poll is Dr. Kurt Corbello, Department of History and Political Science. Through the SLU Poll, Southeastern Louisiana University provides objective and independent analyses of public opinion on important issues and elections.  Each poll is conducted by students who are trained for the purpose and who are under professional supervision.  Facilities for the SLU Poll are provided by the Florida Parishes Social Science Research Center (FPSSRC). For further information about The SLU Poll contact:

Dr. Kurt Corbello             
Department of History and Political Science            
Southeastern Louisiana University
Hammond, LA 70402
Phone: (504)-549-2112 or 2109
E-Mail: MCORBELLO@SELU.EDU

Regarding the services offered by the FPSSRC, contact the Director:
Dr. Bonnie Lewis                
Dept. of Sociology, Social Work, and Criminal Justice
Southeastern Louisiana University
Hammond, LA. 70402
Phone: (504)-549-5120
E-Mail: BLEWIS@SELU.EDU