A good rule of thumb for politicians is that they shouldn’t read too much into a single poll.
That said, the release of the University of New Orleans’ latest quality of life survey in Orleans and Jefferson Parishes made Wednesday a very good day for one office holder: Jefferson Parish President Mike Yenni, whose approval rating on the job clocked in at an eye-catching 60 percent.
Yenni survived a recall attempt early in his tenure following news that he’d been involved in a sexting relationship with a teenage boy, mostly because the bar for getting these questions on the ballot is extremely high. Yet many people in politics consider him something of a dead man walking, electorally speaking.
He’s running the parish but remains banned from public school property, despite his attempt earlier this year to get school board members to reconsider the policy. When a candidate for sheriff, John Fortunato, said he’d support Yenni for reelection, the backlash was so strong that he reneged. Yenni has refused to say whether he’ll run for reelection next year, but at least two big names, former Parish President John Young and Parish Councilwoman Cynthia Lee-Sheng, are looking at running regardless of his plans.
A question over Yenni’s job performance isn’t the same as a measure of whether voters want him to stick around for four more years. But given how stubbornly Yenni has clung to the job throughout the scandal, it wouldn’t be surprising if he reads the results as just the sign of survival that he’s been hoping for.
The more intriguing question, of course, is whether that interpretation would be correct.