Gray TV poll shows Landry leading in primary

Updated: Sep. 18, 2023 at 5:00 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - In the run-up to the October 14 primary election for the Governor of Louisiana, a new Gray TV poll shed light on voter preferences, key issues, and the state’s political landscape.

The poll was conducted from Sept. 12-15, 2023, and involved 625 registered voters.

The results show Republican Attorney General Jeff Landry leading in the primary but facing a potential run-offs.

“This is not a surprise at all,” Dillard University Political Analyst Dr. Robert Collins said. “Jeff Landry has led in every poll that we’ve seen so far during primary season. Primarily because number one; he’s been running for governor for over a year now. And number two; he has by far the most money.”

The economy, crime, and healthcare are among the top concerns of voters.

Candidate Recognition

The poll gauged the recognition levels and opinions of key candidates among the Louisiana electorate:

  • Jeff Landry emerged as the most recognized candidate, with 46% of respondents recognizing his name. Among those familiar with him, 22% held a favorable opinion, while 23% viewed him unfavorably.
  • Shawn Wilson was recognized by 28% of respondents, and his favorability stood at 7%, with 31% holding a neutral opinion.
  • Steve Waguespack was recognized by 24% of voters, with 14% holding a favorable view and 35% expressing neutrality.
  • John Schroder had 17% recognition, and 12% held a favorable view, while 34% remained neutral.
  • Hunter Lundy and Sharon Hewitt had recognition levels of 14% and 11%, respectively, with varying levels of favorability and neutrality.

Voter Preferences in the Primary Election

When asked about their preferences in the primary election, the following results emerged:

  • Jeff Landry, the Republican candidate, garnered the most support at 40%. He was particularly popular among white voters (52%) and Republicans (57%).
  • Shawn Wilson, the Democratic candidate, received 24% of the vote, with strong support from black voters (56%) and Democrats (47%).
  • Stephen Waguespack, another Republican, secured 9% of the vote.
  • Hunter Lundy, an Independent, had 4% support.
  • John Schroder and Sharon Hewitt had 3% and 2% support, respectively.
  • 15% of respondents remained undecided.
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Potential Run-off Scenarios

In the event that no candidate secures over 50% of the vote in the primary, the poll explored potential run-off scenarios:

  • In a run-off between Jeff Landry and Shawn Wilson, Landry had a lead with 52% compared to Wilson’s 39%.
  • Against Stephen Waguespack, Landry still maintained a lead, receiving 52% of the vote compared to Waguespack’s 27%.
  • When facing Hunter Lundy, Landry secured 56% of the vote against Lundy’s 30%.
  • A run-off against John Schroder saw Landry receiving 51% of the vote compared to Schroder’s 23%.
  • In a contest against Sharon Hewitt, Landry maintained a lead with 53% against Hewitt’s 23%.

Key Voter Concerns

The poll also inquired about the most important issues to voters:

  • The economy and jobs ranked as the top concern, with 23% of voters citing it.
  • Crime and drugs were the second-highest concern at 17%.
  • Education, healthcare, rising insurance rates, taxes, government spending, and abortion followed in varying order of importance.
  • 61% of respondents felt that Louisiana was on the wrong track, while 28% believed it was on the right track.
  • On the topic of abortion, 53% of voters opposed the current state abortion law, while 41% supported it.


The poll also provided insights into the demographics of the surveyed voters:

  • Party registration: Democrats (42%), Republicans (37%), Independents or Other (21%).
  • Age distribution: 18-34 (16%), 35-49 (28%), 50-64 (27%), 65+ (29%).
  • Gender: Male (49%), Female (51%).
  • Race/ethnicity: White/Caucasian (67%), Black/African American (28%).
  • Region: New Orleans Area (34%), Baton Rouge Area (21%), South Central Louisiana (24%), Northern Louisiana (22%).

Gray Television will hold a debate on Sept. 26 at the University of New Orleans.

To qualify for the debate, candidates were required to tally 5% or higher in the Gray-commissioned poll.

Jeff Landry, Shawn Wilson, and Stephen Waguespack met the criteria. Wilson and Wasguespack have accepted invitations to participate. Landry’s campaign has not given an answer as of Monday evening.

The primary election will be held on Oct. 14.

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