Debates help undecided voters

Louisiana Politics

POSTED: Thursday, October 13, 2011 - 6:46pm

UPDATED: Friday, November 4, 2011 - 1:44pm

A new poll says lots of Louisiana voters are still undecided when it comes to the state’s number two spot. According to the independent poll, a third of voters still don’t know who they’ll cast their vote for. Forty percent of voters say they’re voting for Jay Dardenne and 27% plan to vote for Billy Nungesser.

As Decision 2011 gets closer, how candidates plan to tackle big issues becomes more pressing, and many people are turning to the debates to make a decision on their vote.

Kendra Johnson hasn’t been following the race for the next Lieutenant Governor.

“I work two jobs, and I don’t really have time to watch TV,” she says.

However, she plans on casting a vote come Election Day. “They have to come on really strong. They have to be really, really about the people,” she says.

Her situation isn’t unusual. Lots of people are still trying to decide between incumbent Jay Dardenne and Plaquemines Parish president, Billy Nungesser.

“Neither of the candidates have said anything that I really like,” says Ros’Shonda Moses-Davis.

The two men have had a number of debates where they talk about how they’d better promote tourism in the state, and what they would do if they had to take on the role of governor.

“These two men are one heartbeat away from the governor,” says Jean Armstrong with the League of Women Voters. “We think it’s important that you learn about them, take a real strong look at the debate, and then cast a vote about them.”

While voters think the debates are important, some worry they’re not reaching enough people. “Ninety-nine percent of people are going to vote for that 30 second spot that gets put out there no matter how true or untrue it is,” says James Vilas.

For some, like Johnson, the debates create more questions than answers about the candidates. “Sometimes when they go against each other like that you don’t know what to believe.”

For most of the people we talked to, a good debate helps, giving them the tools they need to make a decision.

“You get to hear both parties and what their opinions are,” says Moses-Davis.

Billy Nungesser and Jay Dardenne both point out the importance of the debate and getting the word out to voters. They’re hoping the debates help voters understand their issues and decide which candidate would benefit them more.

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