Dig Baton Rouge

Survey Says…

By Cody Worsham

Louisiana is leaning left, heading in the wrong direction, and will soon be overrun by married, gay stoners – or so its residents believe.

LSU’s Public Policy Research Lab (PPRL) released its Louisiana Survey last week, showing decreasing confidence in the state’s progress, as well as growing support – if not acceptance of the inevitable – among Louisianans regarding controversial topics like same-sex marriage and marijuana legalization.

Here’s the breakdown:

Directionless: 44 percent of Louisianans – and just 38 percent of Baton Rouge residents – feel the state is heading in the wrong direction, three points higher than the 41 percent – mostly wealthy, Republican men – who believe the state is heading in the right direction.

The other 15 percent “don’t know.” That’s a five-point increase from 2013’s 10 percent “don’t know” contingency and a sign of increasing public stupidity uncertainty.

Trust Issues: Perhaps the above uncertainty is linked to the public’s perception of state government, which has worsened vastly in the last five years. Only 36 percent of Louisianans – down from 64 percent in 2009 – have confidence in the state to address its most important issues. Hey, add those two numbers up, and you get 100 percent, amirite?

Those issues, by the way, include education (29 percent call this the most important issue in the state), the economy (23 percent), politics (15 percent), and health care (10 percent). “Other” – the “I don’t know” of issues, apparently – also clocked in at 10 percent.

Maximize the Minimum: A whopping 74 percent of Louisianans favor raising the minimum wage, because money. Even 55 percent of Republicans are on board with a wage hike. I’d bet $8.50 to win $10.10 that minimum wage reform is just around the corner.

“56 percent of Louisianans have an unfavorable view of the Affordable Cart Act, with 39 percent saying the law has decreased the quality of their health care. If all 39 percent die from their terrible health care, however, Obama will regain his seat at the cool kids’ table for lunch. Brilliant politics, really.”

Dollars on Diplomas: 80 percent of residents support increased state spending on primary and secondary education, while 74 percent support increased state spending on higher education. Meanwhile, Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration has massively slashed funding for both since 2008, as the governor considers them failing enterprises. In the same line of reason, it’s probably time to slash funding for Jindal’s 2016 Presidential campaign. I cannot imagine an enterprise more obviously doomed for failure.

Thanks, Obama: 56 percent of Louisianans have an unfavorable view of the Affordable Cart Act, with 39 percent saying the law has decreased the quality of their health care. If all 39 percent die from their terrible health care, however, Obama will regain his seat at the cool kids’ table for lunch. Brilliant politics, really.

Gay is (almost) okay: Exactly 50 percent of the state’s residents support civil unions for same sex couples, while 42 percent support same sex marriage. Both figures are up three points from a year ago but lag behind the national figures.

In a sign of either optimism or resignation, depending on your perspective, 67 percent of the state’s population – including 80 percent of those aged 18 to 24 – believe Louisiana will one day legalize gay marriage. Meteorologists in hell report that it is not, in fact, freezing over. Yet.

Puff, puff, and pass the damn law, already: Sixty-five percent of residents believe marijuana will eventually be legalized for personal use. Support for legalization of marijuana for personal use is up to 44 percent, but opposition is still strong at 54 percent. The other two percent were too stoned to complete the survey, but unsolicitedly offered unanimous support for state tax incentives specifically targeting White Castle’s chain of burger joints.*

*The survey contained no questions on tax incentives for White Castle chain restaurants. 

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