Poll Shows Edwards Leading Duke in Louisiana Governor’s Race With AM-Louisiana Governor-Blacks
SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) _ Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke trailed former Gov. Edwin Edwards as they head toward a weekend runoff election in the Louisiana governor’s race, according to a poll released Thursday.
Fifty-three percent of those polled said they would vote for Edwards, a Democrat whose three terms as governor were tainted by scandal, with another two percent saying they were leaning toward a vote for Edwards.
Twenty-seven percent said they would vote for Duke, a Republican rejected by national party leaders, or were leaning toward voting for him. Fifteen percent were undecided, according to the poll commissioned by New Orleans business group Louisiana Business 2000.
Edwards and Duke bumped Gov. Buddy Roemer from the race in an open primary last month. A runoff will be held Saturday.
Marketing Research Institute of Mississippi conducted the survey of 800 registered Louisiana voters Monday through Wednesday. The survey had a margin for error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.
It was the fourth independent poll released in two days that showed Edwards ahead.
Duke said he didn’t believe the latest numbers.
″It was taken the same time as two others. It’s entirely different from theirs,″ he said.
Only one of three polls released Wednesday was taken at the same time. That poll, conducted Monday and Tuesday, showed Edwards with 49 percent and Duke with 42 percent and 9 percent undecided.
It was adjusted to account for what pollsters consider a ″hidden vote″ of those who support Duke but won’t admit it to pollsters.
In another campaign development, a newspaper in Scotland defended an article it printed last year that said Duke made numerous anti-Semitic remarks during an interview. Information in that article was picked up this week by a New Orleans newspaper.
The Scotland on Sunday article paraphrased Duke as saying Jews started World War II to destroy Aryan culture, ran Stalin’s concentration camps and were to blame for communism, civil rights, drugs, rape and immorality.
Duke denied making anti-Semitic remarks during the interview and said the article contained no direct quotes reflecting such views. He said the reporter should produce a tape of the interview.
Reporter Roz Davidson said the article was accurate and said Duke specifically asked her not to record the conversation in which he made the remarks.
Duke was a Ku Klux Klan leader during the 1970s and associated with the American neo-Nazi movement in the 1980s. He made many anti-black and anti- Semitic remarks during those years, but says he no longer holds those racist beliefs.