Poll: Edwards leads over Vitter in governor's race with over 20 points

Poll: Edwards leads over Vitter in governor's race with over 20 points - 10 p.m.

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The University of New Orleans released a poll Thursday regarding the upcoming runoff elections.

Even for Louisiana, the numbers are big. More than $23 million spent on television advertising this year by candidates in all the state's races.

However it is the race for governor where the biggest dollars are falling, with the two men left standing continuing to spend, spend, spend. Even with that, the new poll showed that the race appeared to still be miles apart.

The UNO poll was done by Dr. Edward Chervenak. It took place from November 2 through November 8, polling 600 likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 4 percent.

In the race for governor of Louisiana, the poll showed John Bel Edwards with a commanding lead of over 20 points. The Democrat was pulling 56 percent of the vote, while Republican David Vitter showed up with 34 percent.

One of Edwards' major challenges coming out of the runoff was convincing those who voted for Republicans Jay Dardenne and Scott Angelle to cross party lines and vote for him. The UNO poll said he has succeeded.

It showed that 50 percent of Dardenne's voters and 46 percent of Angelle's voters will vote for Democrat Edwards. Vitter got about one-third of the Dardenne and Angelle voters.

"I feel great about where we are and where we are moving in the race," Vitter said at an event put on by the Louisiana Family Forum Thursday night. "So I feel very, very good about that. I think there's a clear dynamic going on. People are thinking about our future and the issues."

Diving deeper, the poll showed Edwards pulling 25 percent of Republican support.

"This is about bringing people together. I will have the opportunity to do that," Edwards said after early voting in Hammond Thursday morning. "Given the amount of Republican support that I have as a Democratic candidate, I will be positioned in a good place to bring us together."

A large part of the campaigning for the runoff involved each candidate claiming to be the conservative choice. Republican Vitter came out well ahead on that one with 60 percent to Democrat Edwards' 31 percent.

One of the major factors that influence how people vote is the direction in which they see the state going, and they aren't happy about that. Overall two-thirds see Louisiana heading in the wrong direction with only 20 percent having a favorable view.

There was not a lot of difference on how parties see it. 68 percent of Democrats see the state heading in the wrong direction, along with 64 percent of the Republicans.

That view could be reflected in the job approval for Governor Bobby Jindal. The poll showed him with a 70 percent disapproval rating. The pollster used the word "stratospheric" to describe the negative number.

Jindal fell below break even with his own party as 55 percent of Republicans said Jindal is not doing a good job. 89 percent of the Democrats said no to Jindal.
Lastly, the poll took a look at the lieutenant governor's race. Democrat and Baton Rouge Mayor Kip Holden is facing an uphill fight.

Last week's numbers showed Republican Billy Nungesser at 49 percent to Holden's 39. Support was pretty much cutting along party lines with Nungesser pulling in the majority of independent voters.

The runoff election is Saturday, November 21.

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