BATON ROUGE, La. (LOCAL 33) (FOX 44) — A majority of Louisiana voters oppose the congressional Democrat-led inquiry on impeaching President Trump, and some Louisiana Republicans are looking to capitalize.
State and parish party insiders hope the opposition will turn voters against Democratic candidates this fall, as Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards faces Republican challenger Eddie Rispone.
“If you’re upset about what’s happening to President Trump, go to the polls and vote for his candidate for governor, Eddie Rispone,” East Baton Rouge Parish Republican Party chairman Woody Jenkins said in an interview Tuesday.
A Nexstar/JMC Analytics poll out this week shows 54 percent of Louisiana’s likely voters oppose the impeachment inquiry, with 36 percent in support and 10 percent with no opinion.
But the same poll shows that despite majority opposition to impeachment, Edwards leads Rispone by two points. Pollster John Couvillon does not expect the congressional inquiry to hold additional weight in the statewide race.
“I don’t think it will move the needle more than it’s been moved right now,” Couvillon said. “It’s for the simple reason that Gov. Edwards has sidestepped criticism of Donald Trump — which is a smart approach in this state.”
Edwards has not voiced any support for impeaching Trump, whose job enjoys 52 percent approval from the Louisiana voters polled.
But Jenkins sought to distance Edwards from the state that gave then-candidate Trump 58 percent in the 2016 presidential election.
“Gov. Edwards supported President Obama, he supported Hillary Clinton,” he said. “He’s deeply tied into the national Democratic Party.”
“It’s a national race that affects the future of our country,” Jenkins said of the gubernatorial election.
Edwards, though, has rejected claims of the Louisiana governor’s race being a national bellwether. At a Baton Rouge press luncheon Monday, he touted his working relationship with President Trump.
“You can’t be the best governor for the state of Louisiana if you don’t have a good working relationship with the president, regardless of party,” Edwards said.
Louisiana voters will decide whether to re-elect Edwards, the Deep South’s lone Democratic governor, in November. Election Day is Nov. 16, and early voting runs from Nov. 2 to Nov. 9.