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Voter turnout big factor in who wins governor's race

Published: Nov. 3, 2015 at 3:05 AM CST|Updated: Jan. 2, 2016 at 3:12 AM CST
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LAKE CHARLES, LA - A poll from WVLA-TV and JMC Analytics show that John Bel Edwards leading by 20 percentage points over David Vitter.

Also, 16 percent of those polled said they are still undecided.

A pivotal factor in who wins the Louisiana governor's race could be voter turnout, especially since it was surprisingly low in the primary.

The group Southwest Louisiana Republicans hosted a post-election analysis Monday with panelists political columnist Jim Beam, radio talk show host Moon Griffon and former state representative Vic Stelly. They all said low voter turnout and voter apathy are to blame.

"How in the world can you have only 30 percent turn out? That means that 7 out of 10 just don't care, or what have you, but the problem is, those same 7 out of 10 will be the people complaining about things," said Stelly.

All agreed that apathy had a role to play in the low voter turnout across the state, but they all stated that the negative campaign ads didn't help the governor's race much either.

"People got sick and tired of the advertisements and I think that they got so angry, they decided that you know what I'm not going to go vote," said Griffon, host of "The Moon Griffon Show."

"I think the campaign commercials — people are just turned off by that," said Jim Beam, American Press political columnist:

"I see a lot, a lot of negative campaigning. If what we have already seen is any indication, I think it's going to be very, very down and dirty and I don't think it's going to be a good measurement of democracy," Stelly said.

"If Edwards wins, he's going to win with Republican votes and that's what's amazing. If they vote for Edwards, they are revitalizing, re-energizing the Democratic Party," Griffon said.

Griffon said he's concerned there will be low voter turnout in the runoff, especially since it falls right before a major holiday.

"It's the Saturday before Thanksgiving; people go on vacation; they go hunting; they take the kids out. Will they even remember to go vote? I think it is going to be about what the voter turnout is," he said.

Both Vitter and Edwards have agreed to a runoff debate on Nov.16.

As a reminder, early voting begins this Saturday.

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