BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - He may have the deepest pockets and the biggest name of all the candidates, but a new poll suggests Sen. David Vitter is in a tighter race than perhaps expected.
"It's been thought all along that it's David Vitter's race to lose and this poll shows some erosion of support," said political analyst Jim Engster.
Published by WWL-TV and The Advocate, the latest independent poll shows the U.S. senator in a dead heat with the lone major Democrat, state Rep. John Bel Edwards. Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle and Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne trail by nine and ten points.
But when voters were asked to pick head-to-head, Vitter lost to all three candidates and to Dardenne by the largest margin.
Dr. Ron Faucheux, a former state legislator representing New Orleans, conducted the poll last week of 800 likely registered voters with the Clarus Research Group.
"There would be reason for concern," said Faucheux. "To be behind in runoff scenarios where the lesser-known opponents are leading the best-known opponent is a troubling sign."
"The curious thing is that Sen. Vitter is not attacking the Democrat who he's tied with. He's attacking the other Republicans," said Engster.
23 percent of people say they're voting for someone else or they're undecided.
"I'm not even sure who's running," said Craig Creppel in Baton Rouge.
"I'm undecided. I don't really know who I'm voting for," said Baton Rouge resident Sheel Mukherjee.
Rep. Edwards' team said in a statement Monday, "Those undecided numbers favor us big time."
Lt. Gov. Dardenne's camp also responded to the poll, hammering home that he did the best in head-to-head scenarios. Commissioner Angelle's team said they're working on sending a response as well.
Sen. Vitter was the only candidate who did not return calls from 9News Monday.
The election for Louisiana's new governor will be held Saturday, October 24.