NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) -
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Polls closed at 8 p.m. There are 175 candidate races and 123 propositions on ballots across the state.
Governor John Bel Edwards leads Republican candidate, Eddie Rispone, on average, 48.7 to 46.9 in the last five public polls, including WVUE’s own Gray television poll conducted by Mason-Dixon.
Experts say the race will come down to turnout. African Americans voted early at a near-record pace, which is thought to be a plus for Edwards.
“Democrats backs are proverbially against the wall,” pollster John Couvillon said. “You have much more motivation now that it’s one republican and one democrat.”
Couvillon’s latest poll shows 6 percent of voters are still undecided, though some of those respondents voted early and did not disclose who they cast ballots for and others he says are not likely to vote. He says the actual number of undecided voters is likely closer to 2 percent.
Couvillon is projecting a narrow Edwards victory, mostly because of high democratic enthusiasm statewide and disgruntled voters who cast primary ballots for U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham.
National election predictors, such as Sabato’s crystal ball, have given Edwards a slight edge based on early voting numbers and projected turnout.
“The animus between the Rispone and Abraham campaigns has not totally gone away,” political analyst and consultant Clay Young said. “I think it still exists and that’s why the president has been in north Louisiana twice in 8 or 9 days.”
President Donald Trump came to Louisiana this week to campaign for Eddie Rispone Thursday night. He brought out primary candidate, U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham, in an attempt to demonstrate party unity.
Abraham offered an endorsement for Rispone, though most of his speech was focused on democrats in Washington, D.C.