A Surprise In Louisiana?

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A new statewide poll in Louisiana suggests that John McCain may have some trouble brewing in the bayou:

NEW ORLEANS – An exclusive new WWL-TV statewide poll shows the contest for president may be closer than many had predicted among Louisiana voters.

In the telephone survey of 500 registered voters, conducted by pollster Ed Renwick, Republican Senator John McCain earns 43 percent of the vote, while Democrat Senator Barack Obama receives 40 percent.  Renwick said that amounts to a statistical tie, since the poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 points.

“It’s closer than I thought it would be,” said Renwick, adding that the higher the turnout, the worse it might be for McCain.

“That’s because they’ll probably be people who don’t usually vote, who don’t vote often, or weren’t registered to vote until recently.  Those people would not be heavy McCain voters.  They would be Obama voters.”

McCain gets most of the white vote, 61 percent to Obama’s 21 percent, but Obama just about owns the African-American vote, registering 83 percent to 3 percent for McCain in the poll, conducted for WWL-TV and a consortium of Louisiana television stations.

The most recent polls of Louisiana prior to this had shown McCain with a double-digit lead over Obama, so this poll comes as quite a shock.

However, this may be yet another indication that heavy African-American turnout could push some traditionally Republican states in the Deep South into Obama’s corner.