Washington – Democrat John Bel Edwards’ stock has gone up in the view of two national political forecasters, based on the results of Saturday’s voting for governor in Louisiana.

Both the Cook Political Report and the Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report for Roll Call give Edwards a better chance to defeat the Republican candidate in the Nov. 4 runoff, U.S. Sen. David Vitter, than they did when they looked at the race before Saturday’s open primary.

Cook now rates the Edwards-Vitter contest a “toss up,” where before it categorized the outcome of the election as “likely Republican.” Rothenberg & Gonzales still see it as “leans Republican,” but that is less emphatic than their earlier “Republican favored.”

Edwards, a state representative from Amite and the lone substantial Democrat in the race, finished first Saturday with 40 percent of the vote. Vitter came in second with 23 percent, but two other Republicans — Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle and Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne — combined to exceed Vitter’s total.

Vitter is by far the best-funded candidate in the race, and no Democrat has won a statewide election in Louisiana since 2008.

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