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26 Oct 2016

Raycom Media Produces Live U.S. Senate Debate in Louisiana

All six leading candidates for Louisiana’s open U.S. Senate seat have agreed to participate in Raycom Media’s debate on November 2, 2016, at Dillard University in New Orleans, La. The debate will be produced and carried LIVE from 7-8 pm central time on-air and streamed online.

John Kennedy (R), Foster Campbell (D), Caroline Fayard (D), Charles Boustany (R), John Fleming (R) and David Duke (R) have confirmed their participation in the Raycom debate.

Journalists from Raycom Media’s Louisiana stations will ask questions and field answers from the candidates. John Snell, anchor and political reporter at WVUE-TV (FOX) in New Orleans, will be the debate moderator. Panelists will be Greg Meriwether of WAFB-TV (CBS) in Baton Rouge, Doug Warner of KSLA-TV (CBS) in Shreveport, and Cynthia Arceneaux of KPLC-TV (NBC) in Lake Charles.

Candidates were invited to participate in the debate based on several criteria including garnering 5% support in a poll Raycom Media commissioned from Mason-Dixon Polling & Research, Inc. of Jacksonville, Florida. All candidates invited to participate met the criteria, including the 5% poll threshold which is a practice used by Raycom Media’s Louisiana stations in past debates including last year’s Louisiana Governor’s debate.

“We are committed to producing a program that is fair and informative for Louisiana to choose their next U.S. Senator,” said Vicki Zimmerman, Raycom Media Regional News Director.

Mason-Dixon fielded the survey October 17-19, 2016. A total of 625 registered Louisiana voters statewide were interviewed by phone. All said they were likely to vote in the November general election. The margin for error, according to standards customarily used by statisticians, is no more than ± 4 percentage points. No margin of error was factored into the 5% eligibility rule.

Here are the poll results for qualifying candidates:

  • ● John Kennedy - Republican 24.2%
  • ● Foster Campbell - Democrat 18.9%
  • ● Caroline Fayard - Democrat 12.0%
  • ● Charles Boustany - Republican 11.4%
  • ● John Fleming - Republican 10.2%
  • ● David Duke - Republican 5.1%


In addition to polling at 5% or higher, here are the other criteria used for qualification:

  • ● Official qualification to run for the office
  • ● Public announcement of intent to run
  • ● Establishment of principal campaign committee
  • ● Establishment of campaign headquarters and staff


Viewers can watch the debate LIVE from 7-8 pm (CT) on WAFB-TV, WVUE-TV, KPLC-TV, KSLA-TV in Shreveport, KALB-TV’s CW channel in Alexandria, and C-SPAN. It will also be live streamed on WAFB.com, Fox8live.com, KPLCTV.com and KSLA.com.

Requests for credentials to cover the debate should be sent to Robb Hays, rhays@wafb.com, no later than noon (CT), Friday, October 28, 2016. Media access will be limited. No one will be allowed access to the debate venue without proper credentials issued by Raycom Media.