Poll: Gov. Edwards is popular, but could face a tight 2019 race

BATON ROUGE, La. (LOCAL 33) (FOX 44) - Louisiana voters view Gov. John Bel Edwards favorably, though he could face a tight race for re-election, a poll released Thursday finds.

Mason Dixon Polling and Research, a Florida-based firm, shows Edwards with a 55 percent approval rating statewide, while 31 percent disapprove. Another 14 percent remain undecided.

Edwards, the only Democratic governor in the Deep South, is most popular in southern Louisiana, according to the poll. In and around New Orleans, 61 percent of participant voters favor his performance, wither 54 percent approval in the Baton Rouge area. His favorability in North Louisiana is less prevalent, at 43 percent, while 42 percent in the region disapprove.

The governor enjoys heavy support among African-American voters, of which 79 percent approve, in the poll. Some 44 percent of white voters approve of the governor's job, according to the findings.

Women polled view Edwards more favorably, with 61 percent. Among men, 48 percent support the governor's performance.

The poll shows that in his 2019 re-election bid, Edwards would face a tight race against potential Republican challengers Sen. John Kennedy and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise. Among those surveyed, Edwards leads Kennedy 45-44 and Scalise 46-43, well within the poll's 4 percent margin of error.

The governor has a more pronounced 51-28 lead against Rep. Ralph Abraham, according to the poll.

No Republican challengers have formally announced a gubernatorial bid against Edwards, though Abraham said earlier this year that he is considering one.

Mason-Dixon conducted the poll between Feb. 20 and 22. The firm interviewed 625 registered Louisiana voters were and weighted for voter registration by parish.

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