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Pushing (against) Mary

Poll questions call results into question

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  The GOP-affiliated polling group Magellan Strategies released a poll last week that showed Sen. Mary Landrieu faced what Magellan called "an uphill climb" in her re-election bid for a fourth term. However, the poll results should be taken with a large dose of salt, not just because of Magellan's GOP ties but also because it was largely a "push poll" that did not present the question of Landrieu's re-election objectively.

  According to the automated phone poll of 1,800 "likely Louisiana voters," 39 percent said Landrieu had earned re-election, while 51 percent preferred a new face in Washington.

  Though Magellan said the poll "was not authorized or paid for by any campaign or political organization," the results were headlined "Louisianans Ready for a New U.S. Senator," and several leading questions and statements were put to respondents before asking, "Do you think it is time to give a new person a chance?"

  Those statements included, "Mary Landrieu recently voted to support immigration reform legislation that offers amnesty to illegal aliens," and "Mary Landrieu has voted to raise taxes on Louisiana families by over $2,500 a year in order to pay for the more than $10 trillion of debt that the government has rung up while she's been in office."

  Meanwhile, the election is still 15 months away. — Kevin Allman

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