Ralph Abraham remains, essentially, a shoo-in to be the Republican that will face off against Governor John Bel Edwards in the November Runoff Election for Governor in Louisiana.
With more than a 20-point lead over both of the lower-tier candidates – Gary Landrieu and Eddie Rispone – Ralph has strengthened his position and still holds more than 30% of the vote in every single public poll (and all of our internal polling) headed into the October jungle primary election.
The challenge we will ultimately face, however, is the difficulty that exists in defeating an incumbent officeholder – especially in the unique circumstances of the Louisiana jungle primary and immediate runoff. Specifically, within 48 hours of winning in the primary, Ralph Abraham must have a funded campaign and be back on television to face off one-on-one with Governor Edwards, who will be sitting on a fully-loaded war chest.
Making this battle winnable is the fact that our internal polling now has Ralph Abraham with a 1-point lead over the Governor in a head-to-head matchup and external polling exists that shows that lead as large as 5 points.
More opportunity exists in the fact that we continue to have huge room for growth among undecided voters. While we are currently sitting in the driver’s seat to take on the Governor head-to-head in the runoff, we still have only 10% name ID among undecided voters.
What’s key, though, is that these undecided voters WILL break Republican, they are just waiting to meet and hear from the candidates. Of the undecideds:
– 51% will support a Republican for Governor compared to 10% wanting a generic Democrat.
– 69% of these voters approve of the job President Trump is doing compared to only 19% who disapprove.
– 46% disapprove of the way JBE is handling his job as Governor compared to only 21% who approve.
– 68% believe it’s time to give “someone new a chance” compared to only 10% who believe the Governor deserves re-election.
As we continue to build our support among the undecideds, our message is correct. Again, among undecideds:
– 69% are more likely to support Doc when learning he is a “proven fighter who will stand up for Louisiana family values”
– 67% are more likely to support Doc when learning he is “a conservative member of Congress who fights to support President Trump”
Eddie, on the other hand, doesn’t appear to have a winning or compelling message being developed. Of undecideds:
– Only 50% feel more likely to support when they learn he is a “businessman and not a politician,” and
– Only 51% feel more likely when that message is changed to “a conservative outsider – not a career politician”
Considering that he cannot seem to break out of single digits despite having spent well over a million dollars to date – it’s hard to imagine the undecided voters will break 91-9 in his favor, even as he launches his media buy this week.
We are in the winning position in this race – I’d take our message, our candidate, and our numbers over Eddie’s any day of the week.
Louisiana is ready to make a change and win again.
UPDATE: August 8, 2019
Over the past two weeks – despite almost $2 million in advertising from our closest Republican opponent – things remain largely unchanged.
Our internal tracking has Mr. Rispone moving ONE SINGLE POINT despite picking up almost 20-point in name ID statewide – largely because that new identification has come in the form of unfavorable opinions where he is now 22-20 and barely above water.
Doc remains positioned for the runoff and as our ads begin airing will only further solidify that position.