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 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.