John Bel Edwards

S. Lincoln: screenshot from debate broadcast

The Revenue Estimating Conference met Monday, acknowledging oil and gas prices, sales tax and corporate tax collections are far below what was anticipated.

Legislative fiscal analyst Greg Albrecht summed it up, saying, “We’re a long way from hitting the total forecast.”

The state is $370-million away, in the current fiscal year.  The biggest hole is created not by oil prices, but by corporate taxes. The explanation offered was businesses had rushing to claim tax credits before legislative reductions kicked in.

Courtesy LPB

They talked over each other, and the moderators. And by the end of Tuesday night’s debate between David Vitter and John Bel Edwards, one thing was abundantly clear: the two candidates for governor despise each other.

“John Bel, you’re just wrong,” Vitter flung at his opponent.

“Senator Vitter, you’ve been lying sideways in the public trough since 1992,” Edwards said.

Sue Lincoln

 When David Vitter and John Bel Edwards faced the Baton Rouge Press Club Monday, there wasn’t much discussion of what they would each do as governor. Instead, talk was mostly about the campaign itself. Vitter was asked about Edwards’ latest ad.

“I failed my family 15 years ago. Everyone knows that,” Vitter said. “The good news is, I asked for and received forgiveness.”

“The issue isn’t just family, and it isn’t just forgiveness,” Edwards responded. “His performance of his public duties were compromised, as well.”

Three polls conducted since the October 24th primary show Democrat John Bel Edwards continuing to lead Republican David Vitter in the contest for governor. Edwards received 40-percent to Vitter’s 23-percent of the primary vote, and leads by a margin of anywhere from eight to 20 percent for the runoff, according to those polls.

But are the polls merely reflective of voter leanings, or do the polls somehow influence how people vote?

“Under certain conditions, the polls can have an influence,” according to LSU political science professor Robert Hogan.

S. Lincoln

Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne made his position clear.

“I am a Republican. I have been a Republican since the early 1970s. I will remain a Republican,” the former gubernatorial candidate said Thursday morning. “But I also am someone who believes in voting for the person, not the party. Never is this more appropriate than it is in this election, which is why Cathy and I today announce our support of John Bel Edwards.”

Standing in “Free Speech Alley” on the campus of LSU, Dardenne crossed party lines to endorse the Democrat, setting up the potential for this “red” state to alter its shading.