Political Analyst: Low turnout did not affect election results

Political Analyst: Low turnout did not affect election results

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - It was a joyous celebration for gubernatorial candidates US Sen. David Vitter and Rep. John Bel Edwards, D-Amite, when they were named the top two vote-getters late on Election Day.

And despite just 38 percent turnout from voters, 9News Political Analyst Jim Engster says low turnout did not affect Saturday's results.

"Generally, low turnout is not good for Democratic candidates, but the Democrat in the governor's race got 40 percent of the vote, the Democrat in the lieutenant governor's race got in a runoff and ran first," said Engster.

Engster calls Saturday's 38 percent turnout, abysmal. But while the weather was bad, Engster says the top reason voters stayed home was because the candidates weren't a big enough draw. They lacked charisma.

"The turnout wouldn't have been 50 percent with great weather," said Engster. "It was the fact that no candidate among the big four energized the electorate to get out either to vote for or against somebody and that's generally what causes voters to stream to the polls."

Rep. Edwards notched 40 percent of Saturday's vote. Sen. Vitter tallied 23.

To put into perspective just how low turnout was, during the gubernatorial race of 1991, 80 percent of voters showed up for the runoff between Edwin Edwards and David Duke, more than double the turnout Saturday.

"John Bel Edwards ran so far ahead on a low turnout day, that if he had had the traditional Democratic turnout, he might have gotten 45 percent of the vote. Which means that he may very well, be positioned to defy the odds and win the election, but a lot can happen in four weeks," said Engster.

The runoff election is Saturday, November 21.

Engster expects another low turnout.

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