MONROE, La. (KNOE) A poll by Mason-Dixon Polling and Strategy conducted on behalf of Gray Television shows incumbent John Bel Edwards leading the Governor's race.
Gray Television hired professional pollsters Mason-Dixon Polling and Strategy to poll voters on how they felt about the upcoming governor's election. Source: (KNOE)
The poll has a margin of error of four percent, and all voters polled said they were likely to vote in October.
45 percent of respondents said they would vote for Gov. Edwards if the election was today, as compared to 22 percent for Eddie Rispone and 17 percent for Rep. Ralph Abraham.
ULM Political Science Professor Joshua Stockley said he isn't surprised Edwards has the lead.
"Edwards has been flirting with that fifty percent barrier and this poll also confirms that," he said.
Stockely said he was more interested to see Rispone polling above Abraham.
"Rispone has blanketed the airwaves with his advertisements. He's had some strong debate performance," he said. "And he's not been afraid to attack Abraham. So Abraham finds himself in third place"
He said campaign strategies aren't the only reason Rep. Abraham's lost support.
"He's been criticized for overprescribing opioids as a physician. He's also been criticized for his low attendance over the last year because he's been running for governor," said Stockley. "I think none of those things by themselves have hurt him, but if you put that together it's collective negative press."
The polls show Rep. Abraham performing better within Northern Louisiana, with 26 percent of voters saying they'd vote for him if the election was today.
Stockley said this wasn't much of a surprise either.
"Everybody knew he would do well in North Louisiana, he should do well in North Louisiana. The problem is South Louisiana, two things are going on. One, that's where most of the state is. Two, he has no name recognition," he said.
The poll also shows Gov. Edwards polling better than the other candidates among women, with 51 percent of woman respondents saying they'd vote for him.
Stockley attributes this to the governor's support of Fair Pay Acts and raising wages for teachers.
"One, Democrats get the vote of woman. Two he's been clear on issues that affect women. So I would expect him to do well with that crowd," he said.
Stockley also attributes Gov. Edwards' lead to him being an incumbent who hasn't had any major scandals. However, he said if a runoff does happen, the governor shouldn't get too comfortable.
"Strange things have happened in Louisiana runoffs and it becomes a much different contest. One that he's still favored in, but it's going to be much more difficult," he said.
For more information about the poll, click here.