BATON ROUGE, La. (WVLA/WGMB) — Louisiana’s governor holds a tight lead in his bid for a second term, according to a poll released Monday.
Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards leads Republican challenger Eddie Rispone 48 percent to 46 percent in a poll from Nexstar Media Group and the Baton Rouge-based JMC Analytics.
Six percent of the poll’s participants consider themselves undecided. Of them, 50 percent are leaning towards Edwards, with 47 percent leaning towards Rispone.
“You have people that if you first asked them who they’re for, they’ll say they’re undecided,” pollster John Couvillon said in an interview Monday. “But if you press them a little further, they’re actually leaning toward Edwards and Rispone.”
Both remaining contenders are making appeals to Rep. Ralph Abraham’s displaced supporters. Abraham’s third-place finish ended his bid Oct. 12.
“We’re going to win enough of them,” Edwards told a Baton Rouge Press Club forum Monday. “I’m looking for three percent, while Mr. Rispone is looking for 23 percent.”
(Edwards won 47 percent of the vote during the primary election. Rispone finished second with 27 percent.)
At Monday’s forum, Edwards claimed Rispone’s views on Medicaid, taxes and education place him to the right of Abraham. The governor predicts some the congressman’s supporters will become more open to his runoff bid.
“Many of those voters are people who voted for me, did vote for me four years ago, but for the fact that [Abraham] was in the race,” Edwards said. “Mr. Rispone doesn’t have that benefit.”
Rispone, who was invited to Monday’s forum but declined, touts support from the Republican Governors’ Association and the Trump administration.
“The polling looks good,” Rispone told reporters Monday at Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport, shortly before Vice President Mike Pence arrived for a private fundraiser. “I think the people are motivated. Everywhere I go, there’s excitement.”
The Nexstar/JMC Analytics poll was conducted between Oct. 24 and Oct. 26. Its margin of error sits at 4 percent. You can see the full results here.
Election Day is Nov. 16, though Louisiana voters need not wait that long to cast their ballots. Early voting runs from Nov. 2 to Nov. 9.