New Democratic Poll Shows Carmouche With Lead

Posted November 20, 2008 at 11:02am

In the last competitive House race of the 2008 cycle, the polling war is getting to be just as heated as the advertising war. A day after new GOP polling numbers and an independent survey were released that showed Republican John Fleming holding a slight lead in the battle for Louisiana’s 4th district, Caddo Parish District Attorney Paul Carmouche (D) released his own poll showing him 11 points ahead in the race to replace retiring Rep. Jim McCrery (R). The Democratic poll, conducted on Tuesday and Wednesday by the Kitchens Group, showed Carmouche up 48 percent to 37 percent. The survey polled 400 likely voters and had a 4.9-point margin of error. It also used a 22 percent African-American sample in a district that is 33 percent black. The Kitchens Group poll indicated that Carmouche had a 60 percent favorable and 15 percent unfavorable rating while Fleming held a 47 percent favorable to 30 percent unfavorable rating. The results of Carmouche’s new poll are at odds with a poll released Wednesday by Fleming’s campaign that showed the Republican ahead 43 percent to 42 percent. That poll of 400 likely voters was conducted on Monday and Tuesday and had a 4.9-point margin of error. It included a 30 percent black sample. For a third perspective on the Dec. 6 race, the nonpartisan automated polling firm SurveyUSA also conducted a poll for Roll Call this week in the 4th district, which showed Fleming leading Carmouche 47 percent to 45 percent. The survey of 648 likely voters had a 3.9-point margin of error and the sample size of black voters was 27 percent. Because of the late date and the fact that no other race will be on the ballot that day, predicting turnout has been acknowledged by both sides to be a very difficult task, and both political parties are spending heavily to ensure their voters will show up at the polls.