WRKF

WRKF News

Louisiana Governor's Race Enters Final Week

Nov 12, 2019
Wallis Watkins, WRKF/Aurianna Cordero, LSU Reveille

The Louisiana governor's race is too close to call as it enters its final week. National political analysts have described the race as a toss-up and local polling shows incumbent John Bel Edwards and GOP challenger Eddie Rispone neck-and-neck as they make their final pitches to voters.

On this week's Capitol Access, Stephanie Grace, columnist for The New Orleans Advocate joins the program to discuss the race.

Famed Louisiana Novelist Ernest J. Gaines, author of The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, and other novels, passed away this week at his home in Oscar, Louisiana. He was 86 years old.

Jessica Rosgaard / WWNO

More than 89,000 Louisianans cast their ballots on Saturday in the first day of early voting in the gubernatorial runoff, setting a new record for first day turnout.

GOP challenger Eddie Ripsone is vying to unseat Democratic incumbent John Bel Edwards, who is seeking a second term as governor of Louisiana.

Preliminary reports from the Secretary of State show that about 2,500 more votes were cast on Saturday than the first day of early voting in the 2016 presidential election-- the previous high-water mark-- and surpassing the first day turnout in last month's primary by more than 12,000 votes.

On this week's Capitol Access, pollster John Couvillon of JMC Analytics and Polling discusses the demographic breakdown of early voters and how it might impact the eventual results of the election.

The "Nation's Report Card," or the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), shows Louisiana students are performing better in math and reading, but that the state still lags behind the rest of the nation, as well as the rest of the South.

The NAEP is based on nationally representative testing of thousands of 4th and 8th grade students in reading and math. It's carried out by the federal government through the National Center for Education Statistics.

Louisiana Public Broadcasting

Five weeks separate the gubernatorial primary and runoff in the race for Louisiana governor and this week marks the halfway point. Primary voters whittled down the field to two candidates—Republican businessman Eddie Rispone and the incumbent, Democrat John Bel Edwards.

The top-three candidates met in televised debates three times ahead of the primary and a few more times in candidate forums around the state. But that hasn't been the case in the runoff.

On Wednesday, Edwards and Rispone will meet face-to-face in the first, and likely only, debate before voters head to the polls November 16th.

Pearson Cross, political science professor and the Associate Dean of the University of Louisiana, Lafayette College of Liberal Arts, previews the showdown.

Republican Party of Louisiana

After months of campaigning as a political outsider and self-financing his bid to become Louisiana’s governor to the tune of $11 million, Eddie Rispone is now welcoming the endorsement and support of the Louisiana Republican Party.

Throughout the primary contest, GOP leaders had been wary of returning to the partisan in-fighting that cleared the way for Gov. John Bel Edwards’ long-shot victory 2015.

They took a wait-and-see approach, confident that one of their candidates would earn a spot in a runoff against Edwards.

Pages