Two new polls out from the University of New Orleans’ Survey Research Center and LSU’s Public Policy Research Lab reveal that the public has serious concerns about the budget and the direction the state is heading as the Legislature launches into its second session of the year.
In the automated UNO poll, Gov. John Bel Edwards’ favorability seems to be improving — 43 percent of survey respondents found the governor favorable while 34 percent found him unfavorable, compared to a 34-44 split just three weeks ago.
Edwards definitely fared better than the state Legislature, which received a 15 percent favorability rating and a 53 percent unfavorable.
Regardless of whether people are actually paying attention to the financial fights at the Capitol, 79 percent believe that the state’s budget is in “crisis,” while 11 percent do not think there is a budget crisis at all and 10 percent do not know.
Also, nearly 49 percent blame the perceived crisis on former Gov. Bobby Jindal — 24 percent blame the Legislature and 3 percent point a finger at Edwards.
In the LSU poll, nearly two-thirds of Louisiana residents, or 63 percent, think the state is heading in the wrong direction, the most on record since the survey group began tracking opinion in 2003.
The share of respondents who name the state’s budget as the most important problem jumped from 7 percent in 2015 to 26 percent this year.
The UNO poll surveyed 631 active registered voters with automated questions on March 13, with a +/-3.9 percent margin of error. The LSU poll was conducted live Feb. 1-Feb. 26 with both landline and cell phone respondents, with a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percent.