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LA-Gov: New Mason-Dixon Poll Has Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) Leading Eddie Rispone (R) 48-46 In Runoff

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Here’s the latest news out of Louisiana courtesy of Mason-Dixon polling:

An exclusive FOX 8 News poll days ahead of the Louisiana Gubernatorial runoff election reveals incumbent Democrat John Bel Edwards with a slim lead over Republican Eddie Rispone. The poll of 625 registered Louisiana voters shows Edwards with 48 percent of the vote while Rispone has 46 percent.
Six percent say they are still undecided with less than a week to the Nov. 16 election.

The race could come down to which candidate gets his voters to the polls and who Republican Ralph Abraham’s voters in the primary will support. 94 percent of those who voted for Edwards in the primary say they will back him again, while 92 percent of Rispone voters will support him.
85 percent of those who say they voted for Abraham in the primary indicate they will vote for Rispone, while 10 percent will back Edwards.
When it comes to those who didn’t vote in the primary and say they will vote in the runoff election, Edwards holds a 47 percent to 44 percent lead over Rispone.
While President Donald Trump has stumped in Louisiana for Rispone, the poll asked if you voted for Trump in the 2016 election who would you support in this race?
81 percent of Trump voters from 2016 say they will cast their vote for Rispone while 15 percent say they will cross party lines to vote for Edwards. 4% of those voters say they are undecided.

The highest support for Edwards is from the New Orleans and Baton Rouge areas. Edwards has huge support from African American voters, a key demographic helping Edwards lead in early voting:

African-Americans turned out in big numbers during the early voting period, boosting the chances of Gov. John Bel Edwards against businessman Eddie Rispone in Saturday’s runoff election.

The race has been rated a tossup, but the governor’s odds may be improving because of a reaction against President Donald Trump, who has revved up supporters twice in Louisiana within the past month to try to pull Rispone, a Republican, across the finish line ahead of Edwards, a Democrat.

African-Americans accounted for 31% of all voters statewide during the seven days of early voting during the runoff, compared to only 25% of all voters during the primary early voting period, according to John Couvillon, a pollster and demographer in Baton Rouge. Early voting ended Saturday.

The surge in voting by black people means that registered Democrats had an advantage of 8 percentage points over Republicans during the runoff early voting period, compared to only 2 percentage points during the primary.

“It makes him the odds-on favorite to be re-elected,” Couvillon said of Edwards. “He’s in a much better position now than I would have thought a week ago.”

To be sure, no one can be sure that the high number of early black voters is a harbinger of equally big numbers on Saturday. Michael Henderson, a political science professor at LSU, has questioned the link between early voting numbers and election day results.

Edwards is confident that the early voting numbers portend a good outcome.

Let’s not get complacent though. We need to have a big voter turnout on November 16th. Click here to donate and get involved with the Edwards campaign.