Lawmakers head to Baton Rouge today, for the 6:30 p.m. convening of a special legislative session. As they do so, they might want to take note of the new University of New Orleans Survey Research poll, conducted last week.
“People are aware of what’s going on. They are paying attention,” UNO’s Dr. Ed Chervenak says of the statewide survey, which he supervised.
It gathered responses from 919 Louisiana citizens.
“68% of respondents said they agree with the need for a special session. 18% said no, and 13% said they didn’t know.”
This contradicts many Republican lawmakers, like House Speaker Taylor Barras, who have questioned the need for a special session.
“I do believe we can accomplish this outside of the session,” Barras stated recently.
But Chervenak says constituents see it differently.
“Republicans are in support by a two-to-one margin, or 59% to 28% in favor of the special session.”
When asked who is to blame for the current budget crisis, 60% of respondents to the poll pointed the finger at former governor Bobby Jindal, but…
“About a quarter of the respondents said it was the Legislature’s responsibility,” Chervenak states.
With both legislative chambers controlled by GOP majorities, how do Republican voters aim blame for the budget mess?
“For the most part, they were a bit more likely to blame the state legislature than they were Bobby Jindal, but it was pretty much evenly split,” Chervenak explains. “Only about one in five Republicans blamed John Bel Edwards for the crisis.”
So as legislators listen to the governor’s session-opening speech this evening and consider how to fix the shortfall, they might keep their own approval ratings in mind.
“Only about a quarter of respondents give the Legislature positive marks,” Chervenak says. “Their disapproval rating is twice that of their approval rating.”
The full survey can be found here.