BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Governor John Bel Edwards is leading the race for Louisiana’s top seat, but his numbers are slipping.
That’s according to a new independent poll done by pollster, Verne Kennedy, as first reported by The Advocate.
The poll is just a preview of what could come, with the election just six weeks away. According to The Advocate’s article, these new numbers are good and bad for the governor.
Taking a look at where each candidate stands, the August poll shows the governor leading the charge at 52%, U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham sitting at 25%, while businessman, Eddie Rispone, polls at 19%.
The four other candidates share the remaining 4%. Six hundred voters were surveyed for this poll, according to the article.
“In April, 52% of voters rated Edwards favorably while only 30% rated him unfavorably. In August, Edwards’ favorable-to-unfavorable gap had narrowed to 45% to 41%," Kennedy’s poll states.
Political analyst, Jim Engster, says the governor has a tough race ahead of him and if he doesn’t pull this win off, it won’t be outside the realm of possibilities.
“Republicans have to do this incrementally. They haven’t decided on a candidate. Some Republicans are for Rispone, some are for Abraham,” Engster said. “At some point, they’ll have to decide on one and it may take a runoff to do that, but if John Bel Edwards is at runoff and he’s at 45% and one of the Republicans is at 30%, then it’s a whole new ball game.”
However, Engster notes the governor has had a relatively scandal-free first term dealing with disasters and improving the economy.
“Republicans are trying to frame him as a tax and spend liberal. It’s difficult to do that in good times and the state is doing better now that it was four years ago,” he said.
If the primary election in October results in a runoff, Engster says to expect the turnout to be lower, with proportionally more Republicans voting.
“The governor will be head to head with somebody who’s a Republican. He’s a Democrat. The state has veered widely red in statewide elections. All the intangibles go to the other side, but that doesn’t mean he’ll lose if there’s a second election, it just means he’s got some heavy lifting to do," Engster said.