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Republicans Counter With New Poll in Louisiana Race

Contradicting polling numbers released earlier this week by his Democratic opponent, physician John Fleming (R) put out a new survey that showed him ahead by 5 points in Louisiana’s open 4th district race.

The survey showed Fleming led Caddo Parish District Attorney Paul Carmouche (D) 48 percent to 43 percent, with 8 percent undecided. The poll of 140 likely voters was conducted for Fleming’s campaign by Multi-Quest International and was taken Nov. 6-8. It had a 6-point margin of error.

The election to decide who will succeed retiring Rep. Jim McCrery (R) will take place on Dec. 6 after the Bayou State was forced to move back its primary election calendar after an unusually active hurricane season this year.

Flemings’ new poll did not include the Independent candidates who will be on the December ballot. Those two Independents combined for 4 percent of the vote in a survey released by Carmouche on Monday. The Democratic survey showed Carmouche ahead by 10 points, with 16 percent undecided.

As the general election polling war has begun this week, so, too, has the TV air war as national Democrats and Republicans have poured tens of thousands of dollars into the district for commercials in an attempt to claim victory in what will be the last competitive race of the 2008 cycle.

While the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has released an ad attacking Fleming’s Social Security plan and his support for a national sales tax, the National Republican Congressional Committee is going after Carmouche’s record as a district attorney.

The NRCC’s attacks are focused on the case of John Pilinski Jr., who Republicans say was allowed to go free after numerous arrests and convictions because Carmouche failed to prosecute him under Louisiana’s habitual offender law.

“Paul Carmouche, soft on crime, wrong for us,” the NRCC ad states.

That particular ad generated a heated response from the Carmouche campaign on Tuesday.

“Paul Carmouche has a stellar record as Caddo Parish District Attorney of keeping our streets safe and standing up for victims and their families. ... Cherry picking a few cases out of context is straight out of the Republican Smear Tactic Handbook — this is a non-story,” Carmouche spokesman Bert Kaufman said in a news release. “This is a textbook example of Fleming and the Washington Republicans trying to divert attention from John Fleming’s radical ideas.”

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