Filed Under:  Politics

La. treasurer’s race is down to two candidates

28th August 2017   ·   0 Comments

By Christopher Tidmore
Contributing Writer

Democrat Derek Edwards has claimed that he ranks as the best qualified candidate for Treasurer, and, more importantly, that he can actually win.

While debate has centered around the former claim, the latter has elicited little. No Democrat can win statewide in increasingly “Red” Louisiana short of a prostitution scandal, the pundits have opined. Yet, when last week, polling results showed Edwards in first place, the critics quickly modified their pronouncements to claim that Edwards led “because he is the only Democrat.”

Nevertheless, his presence seems to be freezing out all other possible Republican contenders, leaving only his main rival, Republican Angele Davis, to face Edwards in a November runoff.

According to John Couvillion of JMC Analytics and Polling, the Louisiana Treasurer’s race has transformed into a two-candidate contest. As noted, Democrat Derrick Edwards leads the pack with Republican Angele Davis in second, behind by 11 points but significantly ahead of her fellow Republican competitors.

JMC Analytics summary contended, “There are two main takeaways from this poll: (1) the Democratic base vote continues to consolidate behind Edwards (thus giving him a strong first-place showing), and (2) neither Schroder nor Riser has shown any growth since candidate qualifying.”

“On the initial ballot test, Democrat Derrick Edwards continues to consolidate the Democratic base vote, and leads with 25 percent. He has 61 percent support among blacks (another 33 percent are undecided), 25 percent support (and a plurality lead) among white Democrats, and 15 percent support among white Independents. Angele Davis runs second with 14 percent (leading with 24 percent among Republicans, leading with 18 percent among white Independents, and running second behind Edwards with 10 percent among white Democrats).”

“[Republicans] Neil Riser and John Schroder are neck and neck, with Riser running one point (six – five percent) ahead of Schroder. The remaining candidates received three percent, while 47 percent are undecided. This is the first poll released that includes all six candidates who are qualified to run for Secretary of State, and this inclusion seems to have contributed towards the stalled momentum of both the Riser and Schroder campaigns since qualifying.”

“Furthermore, when margin of error is considered, the ‘horse race’ results are largely similar to other publicly released polling. In summary, this is a wide-open race on the Republican side, although Angele Davis has shown more current and future growth potential since candidate qualifying, and Derrick Edwards appears to have a secure spot for the runoff.”

Perhaps of more significance, 47 percent of those polled are uncertain for whom they will vote, backing up Edwards’ contention that he has arrived at his floor of support, not his ceiling. Despite the fact that Rep. John Schroder has run for the office for almost a year, consolidating “Tea Party” support, and Rep. Neil Riser has made appeals as the only North Louisiana contender, Davis seems to have successfully captured the mainstream GOP support that previous frontrunner Rep. Julie Stokes once enjoyed. Stokes dropped out of the race in early July after a diagnosis of breast cancer.

This article originally published in the August 28, 2017 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.

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