Nov. 3, 2014 10:56 PM

Why? Because more entities than ever, from inside and outside the state, were attempting to poll anything and everything ahead of the heated Nov. 4 primary.

A cornerstone of campaigning slowly came to a troubling halt during Louisiana's primary election season for some candidates and campaigns.

Why? Because more entities than ever, from inside and outside the state, were attempting to poll anything and everything ahead of the heated Nov. 4 primary.

In a late-October interview, pollster John Scurich of Multi-Quest in Metairie said the companies that employ the individuals who dial the phones and ask the questions were surprisingly overwhelmed toward the end of the election cycle.

"I'm being forced to turn down business right now because the interviewing firms are all booked up," Scurich said. "A lot of people don't realize that a lot of these firms also do medical surveys, too, and their political work is something they do on the side. I've never seen it like this before."

Bernie Pinsonat, a partner in Southern Media and Opinion Research in Baton Rouge, said he experienced the same obstacles.

"This has really taken everyone by surprise. We were caught off guard," Pinsonat said in late October. "The problem is there are races all over the United States and there are races for governor and everything else. They're just swamped. If anyone calls me right now I'm going to have to tell them, I'm sorry. I just can't do it.'"

The real problem, though, wasn't the number of candidates, he added.

"It's the PACs (political action committees). They are so big now and have so much money that they always want to be in the field," Pinsonat said. "Most of them need it because they don't know Louisiana. Some of them have more money than political sense."

While most of the campaigns that pre-booked their polling and tracking didn't encounter problems, anyone wishing to go into the field fresh at the end of cycle found challenges.

According to a report issued recently by the Center for Responsive Politics, nearly $4 billion will be spent on this year's midterm elections. That makes this cycle the most expensive ever seen in American history.

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