FOX 8 poll shows Edwards, Vitter far ahead in the race for Louis - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

FOX 8 poll shows Edwards, Vitter far ahead in the race for Louisiana governor

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) -

A FOX 8 News/Raycom Media poll finds Democratic State Representative John Bel Edwards and Republican U.S. Senator David Vitter enjoy sizable leads over their opponents in the final couple weeks of the Louisiana Governor's race.

Edwards runs first at 24% to Vitter's 21%, with Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne at 8% and Public Service Commission Scott Angelle at 7%, according to the poll.

A large percentage of voters, 37%, remain undecided and 3% of those questioned declined to answer.

The telephone poll of 602 registered voters, by Metairie-based Multi-Quest, Int'l, was taken between Oct. 7-13 and has an error margin of plus or minus 4%.

However, the gap between Edwards and Vitter widens when the results are narrowed to the "most likely" voters, the 400 respondents who profess to being either "very" or "extremely" interested in the gubernatorial election Oct. 24.

Among those voters the results are: Edwards 32%; Vitter 24%; Dardenne 10%; and Angelle 10%.

In a hypothetical runoff, Edwards leads Vitter among registered voters 48%-32%.

That margin jumps to 52%-33% among most likely voters, according to the poll.

However, pollster John Grimm points out the numbers are based on those likely to vote in the primary.

As local races are decided, a major drop off in turnout, "would pull Edwards below the 50% mark," Grimm said.

As the lone major Democrat in the primary, Grimm has watched the three major Republican candidates vie for the same primary voters.

Grimm points out Edwards has been largely untouched by his opponents so far in the campaign, a dynamic that would certainly change in a bitterly fought runoff election.

"The Republicans are eating their own instead of dealing with the Democrat," Grimm said.

The poll finds only 12% of voters have a "not very favorable" opinion of Edwards, compared to 43 percent who view Vitter in a negative light.

Grimm adds, in a general election, "Vitter will bring out every drop of mud there is."

The poll is but a snapshot in time and may not reflect other factors that could shape the race in the closing days.

"Turnout is going to be highly impacted by local races," Grimm said.

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