Poll: Donald Trump has double-digit lead over Hillary Clinton in Louisiana _lowres

Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton (Associated Press file photos)

Louisiana voters overwhelmingly favor Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump over Democrat Hillary Clinton, according to a new independent poll on how the race is shaping up here.

JMC Analytics and Polling found likely voters support Trump 52 percent to Clinton’s 36 percent in a hypothetical match-up. Four percent of respondents would pick an unnamed “third party” candidate, while 8 percent remained undecided.

Meanwhile, Clinton’s Democratic rival, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, fared even worse when matched up against Trump in Louisiana. Respondents said they support Trump 55 percent to Sanders’ 32 percent.

“While it is true that Donald Trump narrowly carried the Louisiana primary (in which only registered Republicans could participate), Republicans have since then coalesced behind him,” the JMC pollsters summarize.

Trump’s last remaining GOP rivals, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, dropped out of the race earlier this month and before the poll was conducted.

The automated poll, which surveyed 624 likely voters, took place Thursday and Friday and has a 3.9 percent margin of error.

Trump won Louisiana’s closed Republican primary 41 percent to Cruz’s 38 percent, but a deeper analysis of the outcome found Cruz besting Trump on election day, while Trump took more of the early vote. Before Cruz dropped out, Trump and his supporters complained that Cruz was gaming the primary system in Louisiana to take more delegates.

Clinton handily won the Democratic primary here.

The JMC poll found that 59 percent of respondents have an unfavorable view of Clinton, to 35 percent who approve of her.

Trump was viewed favorably by 47 percent of respondents to 43 percent who disapprove of him.

The poll summary concludes: “While there is much news coverage of Trump’s weakness among women, Hispanics and

Republicans, he starts off with a healthy lead in Louisiana, which means that Louisiana’s eight electoral votes are not likely to be in play this November.”

A poll conducted for The Advocate and WWL in September similarly found Trump with a strong lead over Clinton when tested here. That poll also showed Trump with a strong lead over Clinton, though Clinton bested former Gov. Bobby Jindal -- then a GOP presidential candidate himself -- in a hypothetical head-to-head.

Follow Elizabeth Crisp on Twitter @elizabethcrisp. For more coverage of Louisiana state government and politics, follow our Politics blog at http://blogs.theadvocate.com/politicsblog .