2020 Poll of Registered Voters in New Orleans Shows Approval of Mayor Cantrell over 50% but Lower than 2018 Poll

March 11, 2019 – Mayor LaToya Cantrell speaks at a press conference unveiling the $5 million BuildNOLA Mobilization Fund for small businesses. (Staff photo by Jenn Bentley)

In a recent February 2020 survey of registered voters in New Orleans parish, Mayor LaToya Cantrell received a 53% approval rating by the people. Although this sounds high considering recent controversies like the Hard Rock Hotel collapse and public news of extensive IRS tax liens, her approval rating is down from a 57% approval in 2018 according to a University of New Orleans study. Both numbers are lower than the 60% vote she received in 2017 that clinched the election for her.

This 2020 study was completed by the Edgewater Research team and My People Vote©, a campaign canvassing app developed by Tony Licciardi. The survey included 441 registered voters and included a 4.6% margin of error. The surveys were conducted through automated phone calls and respondents answered by pushing phone buttons. Forty-two percent of respondents from the survey stated that they disapprove of Mayor Cantrell’s current job performance, with 5% undecided. Large surprise comes from the comparison of disapproval numbers within two years. In this recent poll, over 40% of respondents expressed dissatisfaction in her performance, while in 2018 a mere 17% disapproved. This means that 26% of respondents in 2018 were undecided, while this year that number is only 5%. This may be related to the recent controversies that have arisen as of late.

The numbers for Cantrell’s approval vary quite significantly depending on gender and race categories. When accounting for gender, men in general are more in favor of the mayor with a 58% approval as compared to a 49% approval by women. Black men hold the highest approval for her at 72% as opposed to white men at 43%. Black women hold a higher approval rating than women in general by 12% at a 61% approval, while white women’s approval is strikingly low at a mere 30%.

Overall, black voters hold the highest approval for mayor Cantrell. Two-thirds shared positive remarks of her performance at a 65% approval rating, while white respondents approved of her at only 36%. 44% of voters in other racial categories showed approval, placing them in the middle of black and white voters. However, voters of other racial categories also had the highest margin of indecision at 18% as opposed to 4% from black and white voters.

In terms of re-election, 50% are in favor of voting for her again, with 44% stating they would vote against her and 6% being undecided. The margin of difference between voters who would vote for Cantrell again and voters who wouldn’t is within the error margin. Looking at the numbers, respondents in general are essentially split on re-election. However, in regards to gender, over 50% of men polled are willing to vote for her again, while under 50% of women feel the same. In terms of race, 62% of black respondents stated that they would vote for her again while 63% of white respondents said that they would not. Other racial groups are split down the middle on this question. In terms of party preference, Democrats are unsurprisingly supportive of the mayor, with Republicans overwhelmingly opposed to voting for her if given the chance. The difference between parties is 61% to 26%. Respondents below the age of 50 were more willing to vote for Cantrell again than those older than 50, at 53% compared to 47%.

Vote support as a whole is lower for Cantrell than her approval ratings. Overall, black men show the most support for the New Orleans mayor while black women are the second most supportive group. On the latter, most white men are opposed to voting for the current mayor and white women are the least supportive group of all people surveyed. While Mayor Cantrell appeals to her own racial group at a significant level, she does not necessarily appeal across her own gender group.

It must be taken into account that the poll does not offer an alternative to Mayor Cantrell to consider, so therefore voters will tend to picture their ideal candidate when responding to re-election questions. However, their ideal candidate may never run for office. Therefore, these numbers might not be representative of the outcome if an election were to happen right now. And although someone may approve or disapprove of the mayor, their answer does not ensure whether they are likely or not to vote for her. Other evidence has shown that many of these people may not end up voting at all when given the chance in upcoming elections.


Chervenak, Edward, and Licciardi, Tony. “My People Vote© Survey of Registered Voters in Orleans Parish Finds Approval Rating for Mayor LaToya Cantrell above 50%.” Edgewater Research, 15 Feb. 2020.

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