The 2016 Louisiana Survey: Mutual Dislike and Ideological Divisions between Parties Threaten Potential for Compromise


Results from the 2016 Louisiana Survey that Democrats and Republicans are split over whether their leaders should compromise with the opposing party or stand firm on their positions. The Louisiana Survey is an annual project of the Reilly Center for Media and Public Affairs at LSU’s Manship School for Mass Communication to identify the opinions of Louisiana residents and share those opinions with state law makers.


A majority of Democrats (55 percent) would accept some policies they do not like in order to get things done in state government, while a majority of Republicans (52 percent) would prefer their leaders to stick to their positions even if little gets done.


Like the parties nationally, Louisiana Democrats and Republicans are divided over ideology, but Republicans tilt further to right than Democrats tile to the left: 42 percent of Democrats are liberal, and 69 percent of Republicans are conservative. Forty-nine percent of Democrats are moderate or conservative, but just 27 percent of Republicans are moderate or liberal.


But, the perceived ideological gap may be larger than the actual gap. Democrats see the Republican Party in Louisiana as more conservative than Republicans see themselves. Likewise, Republicans see the Democratic Party in Louisiana as more liberal than Democrats see themselves. Yet, for most issues, the majority of Democrats and the majority of Republicans do not take opposing positions.


Democrats and Republicans are also divided by mutual dislike. Nearly nine in ten Republicans (87 percent) have unfavorable opinions of the Democratic Party in Louisiana. Two-thirds of Democrats (67 percent) have an unfavorable opinion of the Republican Party in the state.


About the Louisiana Survey


Since 2003, the Louisiana Survey has tracked public opinion about contemporary issues and challenges facing the state as well as trends in evaluations of the state’s economic, social, and political affairs.


The 2016 Louisiana Survey was administered over the telephone from February 1st to February 26th to both landline and cell phone respondents. The project includes a representative sample of 1,001 adult Louisiana residents. The total sample has a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points.


This is the second in a series of releases about findings from the 2016 Louisiana Survey.


A copy of the report is are available at

Louisiana Survey 2016 – Report Three



Michael Henderson
Public Policy Research Lab