Louisiana Poll: Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards Lagging Well Under 50 Percent

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards speaks during a press conference to update the public on FEMA's disaster recover and temporary housing programs on August 19, 2016 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Last week Louisiana was overwhelmed with flood water causing at least thirteen deaths and thousands of damaged homes. (Photo by …
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

A Louisiana poll released Wednesday found that Louisiana Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards has not gained enough support to prevent a runoff election with likely GOP candidate Rep. Ralph Abraham (R-LA).

According to a Nexstar poll conducted by JMC Analytics and Polling, Edwards leads with 41 percent, which is up from 38 percent in April. Abraham has 24 percent support, while businessman Eddie Rispone has 16 percent support, and 16 percent remain undecided ahead of the October 12 primary.

The October 12 primary will feature Abraham, Rispone, and Edwards on the ballot. If none of the candidates reach the 50 percent threshold during the October primary, the top two candidates will advance to a runoff election on November 16.

If the polling holds at roughly the same level until the October 12 primary, both Edwards and Abraham will join the runoff election on November 16. If most of Rispone’s supporters end up backing Abraham, the leading GOP candidate, then Abraham will have 40 percent compared to Edwards’ 41 percent, making the race nearly a dead heat.

Louisiana Republicans have increasingly backed Abraham’s campaign for governor. On Wednesday, Rep. Clay Higgins (R-LA) became the first Republican of the Louisiana delegation to back Abraham for governor. Clay described his colleague as the “righteous candidate.”

Higgins said in a statement Wednesday:

It has become clear. The path to recovery for Louisiana has now been illuminated. Ralph Abraham is a solid conservative, a dependable ally to President Trump, a very, very good man … and he is my friend. He will defeat John Bel Edwards and the liberal machine. He will bring jobs and economic growth back to Louisiana. We, the people of Louisiana need Ralph Abraham as our next governor. He is my brother. He has my full support.

Higgins’ endorsement of Abraham arises as Rispone has attacked Abraham in attack ads, which have rankled Louisiana Republicans. Many worry whether Rispone’s attacks against Abraham could spoil the election in favor of Democrat Edwards.

Abraham said, “This is the literal playbook that allowed John Bel to be elected four years ago. I’m sure his out-of-state consultants told him that he was so far behind he had to do this to win, regardless of what it could mean for our state.”

Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.

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