An independent, post-first debate poll shows Governor Edwards has gained ground, and Eddie Rispone has jumped Ralph Abraham as the top polling Republican.

JMC Analytics Pollster John Couvillion says Edwards sits at 46 percent because Democrats are coming home to the governor, while white independents are starting to warm up to him as well.

“In the Nextstar Poll, he had 33 percent of white independents, in this current poll it is 34 percent.”

It’s the first time an independent poll shows Rispone over the Congressman. Couvillion says the Baton Rouge businessman’s 21-18 percent lead over Abraham is evidence of two things.

“You have the aftermath not just of the Rispone attack ad on Abraham, but also of Rispone’s better debate performance than Abraham’s.

Rispone launched an attack ad against Abraham for comments the Congressman made about the President in 2016. He also continued the attack at the debate.

Couvillion says the latest results have moved the likelihood of a run-off from high to a tossup. In a tight race, it could all come down to minority voter turnout.

“That is going to have a direct impact on the vote that Governor Edwards is going to get in the primary because you could be talking about something like 46, or something like 49 or 50 percent depending on intensity.”

12 percent remain undecided, but of those 12 percent, 48 percent say they are leaning Edwards.