A survey says Louisiana has the lowest level of support for abortion rights in the nation, with only 34 percent saying they support the right to legal abortion in most, or all cases. 60 percent of state respondents said abortion should be illegal in most or all cases.

ULM Poli Sci Professor Joshua Stockley says that has a direct effect on the kinds of candidates the Democratic party can run locally.

“To be a Democrat in Louisiana, and to be successful, typically you have to be more conservative. John Bel Edwards on the issue of abortion reflects that.”

Nationally 54 percent of respondents supported abortion in most or all cases, and 40 percent said they opposed legal abortion in most or all cases.

The national Democratic Party is firmly pro-choice, and Stockley says this poll is an example of the biggest problem local Democrats have when running for statewide office, which is trying to convince voters that they are in fact legitimately and sincerely different from their national counterparts.

Stockley says the overwhelming opposition to abortion rights in Louisiana creates a clear order of operations for candidates seeking statewide office.

“In the south, a conservative Democrat is going to have more success than a progressive Democrat. Either way, Democrats are still going to have a very long road ahead of them.”

The study broke the numbers down by ethnic group, with Asians/Pacific Islanders (60%) and African Americans (58%) having the most support for legal abortion, while Hispanics were the only group with majority opposition (48%-45%).