Could Democrats unhappy with Edwards' abortion views pose 2019 challenge?

Poll shows support for hypothetical challenger from left

Chris Miller
June 11, 2019 - 8:37 am

Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images


Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards bucks the Democratic party platform when it comes to abortion. The governor has long had a right-to-life record stretching back to his years as a state legislator.

But his signing of the bill that would ban abortion once a fetal heartbeat can be detected may be too much for some Democrats to bear. A poll of 500 registered Louisiana Democrats finds 42 percent would like to see another Democrat run for governor. And the younger the voter, the more they support it: Democrats 35 and under favored having another Democrat challenge Edwards by 64 percent.

University of Louisiana-Lafayette political science professor Pearson Cross says while another Democrat in the race could pose a serious threat to Edwards' chances at reelection, it would be even more likely to help a Republican candidate win.

"Do you want to be known as the Democrat who prevented a Democratic Governor from getting a second term?" Cross posed. "Some people might say yea, that’s reasonable, it’ll give me great name recognition, other people will say, 'hmm, once I do that, I ruin myself with the party.'"

Despite that, Cross says the Edwards campaign should be concerned about this.

"I would say they have got to have a bridge to these people who are concerned about the abortion issue," said Cross. 

Even so, the poll by We Ask America finds 17 percent of pro-choice Democrats still solidly support Edwards for reelection, while 32 percent of Democrats polled said they support the governor's pro-life position.

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