Louisiana Poll: Republican Ralph Abraham Ties Democrat John Bel Edwards in Governor’s Race

House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis. administers the House oath of office to Rep. Ralph Abraham, R-La., during a mock swearing in ceremony on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017. (AP Photo/Zach Gibson)
AP/Zach Gibson

Louisiana’s governor’s race is getting really interesting per a new poll released by Republican Rep. Ralph Abraham’s campaign, showing Abraham now tied with Democrat incumbent Gov. John Bel Edwards.

The survey, conducted by Remington Research and commissioned by the Abraham campaign, took place from June 1 to June 2 and polled 1,471 likely general election voters in Louisiana’s upcoming gubernatorial election. It found that Abraham and Edwards were tied at 45 percent apiece with ten percent undecided in a head-to-head race. The poll has a margin of error of 2.6 percent.

Louisiana has a jungle primary system and another Republican, Eddie Rispone, is also in the race now, but he is per the poll far underperforming Abraham and Edwards. Rispone is deep down in third place in the multi-way race that has Edwards at 42 percent, Abraham at 34 percent, and Rispone down at eight percent, while 16 percent were undecided.

The top two vote-getters from the first round of voting in October will head to the runoff in November 2019 to decide the winner of the governor’s mansion in Louisiana, one of the only regularly scheduled state-wide general election battles anywhere in America before President Donald Trump faces re-election against whomever the Democrats nominate in November 2020.

Should Rispone somehow rebound and end up in the runoff with Edwards, he performs much worse than Abraham does head-to-head with Edwards–where Edwards, per this survey, gets 49 percent and Rispone only gets 38 percent with 13 percent undecided.

Abraham’s strong head-to-head performance against Edwards this early in the campaign is bad news for the Democrats, who are already facing an uphill battle trying to hold onto a governor’s seat in a deep-red, very pro-Trump state like Louisiana.

Edwards broke with national Democrats late last week when he signed the heartbeat bill, which bans abortion in Louisiana after six weeks into a pregnancy with rare exceptions, making Louisiana’s state law one of the most pro-life in the nation.

But in an exclusive interview over the weekend on Breitbart News Saturday on SiriusXM 125 the Patriot Channel, Abraham fired back, saying Edwards only signed the bill because he was “politically motivated” in a tough re-election year, and his ties to the pro-abortion community – including Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and people in his own administration in Louisiana – demonstrate he is not genuinely pro-life.

The bad news for Edwards in this poll gets worse deeper into the findings. In fact, among Democrat respondents, less than half–just 49 percent–said they were definitely voting for Edwards’ re-election, while 29 percent said they would consider another Democrat, and 15 percent of Democrat respondents said they were not voting for the Democrat at all. Seven percent were unsure.

It’s still a long way out from the fall, but if Republicans are able to flip Louisiana, it could be a shot in the arm for the GOP ahead of the Democrats’ wild and contentious presidential primaries and caucuses beginning early next year. What’s more, Trump’s approval rating is solidly positive in Louisiana per this survey, with 54 percent of respondents saying they find him favorable while just 37 percent rated him unfavorably. Nine percent were undecided.

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