Polling firm We Ask America, in survey results released Friday, finds incumbent Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards has the support of 47 percent of likely voters, falling short of the majority he would need in next month’s election to avoid a November runoff.
"Incumbent Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards, as public polling all year has shown, remains just shy of winning outright and avoiding a November runoff," We Ask America said in a post detailing the poll results.
The same poll has Republican businessman Eddie Rispone at 23 percent and Republican Congressman Ralph Abraham at 17 percent, giving the first-time political candidate the edge to make the runoff.
"While Rispone has overtaken Abraham, the gap remains close and will be the battle to watch in the closing weeks," We Ask America said.
This poll was conducted Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday; 600 phone interviews were conducted, including 150 from cell phones, and the survey’s margin of error is just under 4 percent, the polling firm says.
"Looking ahead to a potential runoff, Governor Edwards will have to deal with a plurality of voters who believe that Louisiana has gotten off on the wrong track," We Ask America said. "Perhaps the largest question is whether his image is able to hold up under an almost certain barrage of singularly focused attacks when Republicans have consolidated under a single candidate."
The first round of the election will be held Oct. 12. Early voting begins Saturday.
The potential runoff will be held Nov. 16.