On Thursday, Rep. Ralph Abraham’s own campaign released a new poll of the Oct. 12 all-party primary for governor of Louisiana from Remington Research that confirmed that he's in serious danger of losing the crucial second-place spot to wealthy businessman Eddie Rispone, a fellow Republican. The poll found Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards taking 47% of the vote, which is tantalizingly close to the majority he needs to avert a November runoff, while Abraham led Rispone just 22-20 for the second spot in a potential second round.
Abraham’s team is releasing this survey to argue that he’s still positioned to advance to a runoff despite the millions that Rispone has thrown into TV ads, but this poll is hardly encouraging news for the congressman. Just two weeks ago, Abraham released a different poll from Remington that had him beating Rispone by a larger 27-19 spread (Edwards was at 45%), so even his own team is acknowledging that he’s losing altitude with just about two weeks to go before Election Day.
The new survey came days after the GOP firm JMC Analytics also found Rispone making gains at Abraham’s expense in a short amount of time. In a poll completed Sept. 19 for the media company Nexstar, JMC found Edwards at 41%, while Abraham led Rispone 27-19. However, in a second poll for the Louisiana Association of Health Plans that was finished Sept. 21, JMC had Edwards taking 48%, while Rispone now led Abraham 22-20. Abraham’s team responded to those unwelcome new numbers with a release proclaiming, “Don’t believe fake polls and failing campaigns,” but their newest poll found very similar numbers for all three of the main candidates.
Rispone, who has been self-funding his campaign, had a massive $6.3 million to $1.4 million cash-on-hand lead over Abraham at the beginning of September, so unless Abraham raised a lot more cash over the last few weeks, he may have a tough time trying to staunch the bleeding. The next campaign finance reports are due Oct. 2, so we’ll soon have a final look at each candidate’s financial strength heading into Election Day.
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