Poll: David Vitter closing in on John Bel Edwards; separate pollster predicts big win for Edwards

One new independent poll in the Louisiana governor’s race suggests that Republican David Vitter is making some gains on his Democratic rival John Bel Edwards. But another pollster appears confident that Edwards will have a sizable win come Saturday night.

john bel edwards, david vitter, louisiana, governor

John Bel Edwards (left), David Vitter (right)

Both polls, conducted by JMC Analytics and MRI as the governor’s race nears the finish line, still show Edwards with a sizable lead over Vitter. MRI pollster Verne Kennedy ultimately predicts a large win for Edwards on Election Day.

JMC’s poll is more favorable to Vitter. It has him at 43 percent to Edwards’ 47 percent. MRI’s has Edwards at 48 percent to Vitter’s 41 percent, but when adjusted for a projected 26 percent black voter turnout, Edwards’ lead leaps to 52 percent to Vitter’s 40 percent.

The JMC poll was conducted Nov. 19 and has a 3.9 percent margin of error. It found undecided voters still favor Edwards over Vitter, but also under a narrower margin than previous polls from the firm.

The poll also found that Vitter’s gambit on focusing on Syrian refugees has benefited him some.

“In conclusion, the race has tightened substantially; the question is whether that will make the difference with (1)
the election’s being tomorrow, and (2) the fact that as of last night, 267,983 early/absentee votes were cast largely
before the Syrian refugee crisis,” pollster John Couvillon writes in his analysis. [See the full poll and demographic breakdown here.]

The MRI poll was conducted Nov. 18-19 and has a 4.1 percent margin of error.

“I thought throughout the campaign that Vitter had the superior campaign team but I no longer believe that.  How can a U.S. Senator with universal name recognition and  ten million plus in campaign funding lose the race for governor?” writes Kennedy, who has had public disputes with Vitter in this election cycle.

Michael Henderson, of LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication, writes in a new blog post that when looking at the averages “for the Louisiana runoff polls it is hard to escape a double digit lead for Edwards.”

Looking at possible scenarios for a Vitter win, Henderson writes that it’s possible for Vitter to see a late surge.

“Whether it will be enough for Vitter to win …I’m skeptical because that bar is getting harder and harder to reach, but it would foolish, I think, to say it is out of reach,” Henderson writes.

Polls open for the Edwards vs. Vitter runoff at 7 a.m. Saturday and close at 8 p.m. Find your voting location and more details here.