Sen. David Vitter's designs on the Louisiana governor's office are no secret, and a new poll of more than 2,600 likely voters conducted earlier this month by Magellan Strategies of Baton Rouge surveyed Vitter's potential chances in two theoretical 2015 gubernatorial matchups.
The first was in a field of six candidates that included Mayor Mitch Landrieu, Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne, Treasurer John Kennedy, Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain and businessman John Georges. Landrieu and Georges are Democrats; the others are Republicans. Vitter topped the field with 31.1 percent; Landrieu was a close second, with 29.4 percent. The gap between them — 1.7 percent — was smaller than the poll's 1.9 percent margin of error, which means the two men were in a statistical tie. The rest of the potential candidates were in single digits.
A second hypothetical matchup, between Vitter and Landrieu alone, had Vitter at 45.2 percent and Landrieu at 39.8 percent, with 15 percent undecided.
Vitter spokesman Luke Bolar told The Advocate that the senator neither backed nor funded the poll, though it was conducted by John Diez, who was the executive director of Vitter's "Committee for a Republican Majority," a group set up several years ago by Vitter and supporters including New Orleans GOP stalwarts Joseph Canizaro and Boysie Bollinger. Its stated mission: to "recruit and train new candidates, impact public opinion and mobilize Republican voters." — Kevin Allman