LSU Public Policy Research Lab

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Louisiana’s election season officially begins today with qualifying for the October 14th ballot, so can political “messaging” be far behind?

Whether you call it “messaging”, “spin”, “political correctness”, or even “fake news”, the words used in the political arena mean different things to different people. In linguistics, the emotional meanings attached to words is known as “semantics”.

LSU Public Policy Lab director, Dr. Michael Henderson – who heads the annual Louisiana Survey -- spoke with me about the science of semantics.

Michael Henderson
Sue Lincoln

Michael Henderson, Director of the LSU Public Policy Lab, discusses his research finding Louisiana voters in some cases are receptive to tax increases.

This is information that the governor and lawmakers may weigh as they prepare for the start of a legislative session in which the state budget is front and center.


Gov. John Bel Edwards
Sue Lincoln

WRKF Capitol Access reporter Sue Lincoln joins us to compare the "cookie" and the "cleaning the room" elements of the governor's comprehensive tax reform package. We also hear tape as Michael Henderson from the LSU Public Policy Research Lab reviews part of the Louisiana Survey and what it says about public perception and expectations regarding taxes.


Sue Lincoln

The upcoming legislative session will address tax reform, so what are we – the people of Louisiana – thinking?

“Most people think they’re paying their fair share, so finding the particular tax to raise and finding who is going to pay for it – that’s much more complicated,” says Michael Henderson with the LSU Public Policy Research Lab.


Sue Lincoln

With the final election of 2016 tomorrow, what can be learned from how Louisiana voted last month and last year?


courtesy: LSU

Racial discord in the capital city boiled over this summer, and the annual LSU Presidential Symposium is looking into causes and solutions, asking the question “Moment or Movement?”


Sue Lincoln

The latest Louisiana Survey data released by the LSU Public Policy Lab shows what appears to be a deepening divide between Republicans and Democrats in this state.

“Breaking news: Democrats and Republicans don’t get along. They don’t like each other,” survey director Dr. Michael Henderson told the Baton Rouge Press Club Monday.  And he says that appearance of major differences is compounding the division.

Sue Lincoln

We heard it repeatedly throughout the special session:

“I can assure you, nobody wants to raise revenue. Nobody wants to raise taxes.”

“No one wants higher taxes.”

“I’ve heard the speeches: ‘I’m not voting for any new taxes’.”

“Nobody wants to see their taxes increase.”

Most times those statements were followed by the word, “but”.

The new 2016 Louisiana Survey, done by the LSU Public Policy Research Lab shows that lawmakers should have been listening to what came after the word “but”.

Sue Lincoln

What the heck happened in the governor’s race Saturday night? Dr. Michael Henderson with the LSU Public Policy Research Lab says the runoff matchup really isn’t a surprise.

“I mean, we’ve known for months that this looked like it was going to be Vitter and Edwards,” Henderson told the Baton Rouge Press Club Monday.

“You’ll hear some folks say, ‘Well, wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute! Vitter’s numbers were coming down in those closing weeks, and it was tighter than expected.’ Sure, it was tighter than expected maybe five months ago, but it was not tighter than expected given polling results in recent weeks.”