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Polls Show Edwards in Lead as Louisiana Race Goes into Final Days With PM-None of the Above,

November 14, 1991

Polls Show Edwards in Lead as Louisiana Race Goes into Final Days With PM-None of the Above, Bjt

NEW ORLEANS (AP) _ Three new polls show former Gov. Edwin Edwards leading the governor’s race, but former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke says voters who claim to be undecided will carry him to victory Saturday.

″There’s a lot of undecided vote out there. That’s mine. I think almost all of it is mine,″ Duke said. ″I think we’ll win by a whisker.″

A telephone poll conducted among 701 registered voters Nov. 6-10 by the University of New Orleans Research Center showed that 52 percent favored Edwards and 26 percent supported Duke. Twenty-two percent were undecided.

Edwards, a Democrat, led 46 percent to 40 percent - with 14 percent undecided - after the survey was adjusted for an expected ″hidden vote″ for Duke, pollster Susan Howell said.

The ″hidden vote″ includes people who won’t publicly support the former KKK grand wizard and Nazi sympathizer. Duke, who is running as a Republican, said such voters enable him ″to fly beneath radar″ and will get him elected.

Howell, a political science professor, said Duke’s percentage rose when he was given the votes of respondents who called him ″inspiring″ or said he ″really cares about people like me.″

As an example of what she called ″deceptions in surveys,″ Howell had poll takers ask the 701 surveyed who they voted for in the first primary in October.

The response was that 34 percent said Gov. Buddy Roemer, 28 percent Edwards and 19 percent Duke. Actually, Edwards ran first in the open primary with 34 percent, Duke second with 32 percent and Roemer third with 26 percent.

Meanwhile, a telephone poll by Mason-Dixon Opinion Research showed Edwards ahead 49 percent to 42 percent, with 9 percent undecided, after adjustment for Duke’s hidden vote.

The telephone poll of 816 registered voters was commissioned by WDSU-TV. It was conducted Monday and Tuesday.

A third poll showed the former three-term governor leading 48 percent to 28 percent, with 12 percent saying they would vote for neither candidate and 12 percent undecided. The poll, commissioned by WWL-TV, was conducted by Loyola University political scientist Ed Renwick among 750 registered voters Nov. 5-9.

The research center poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points. The Mason-Dixon and Renwick polls both had margins of error of 3.5 points.

″I feel comfortable at this point. I think the polls accurately reflect that I will win the election ... but I’m working to get that last uncommitted vote,″ Edwards said Wednesday. ″I think we need to send a message that David Duke doesn’t represent Louisiana.″

A New Orleans newspaper, meanwhile, reported Wednesday that Duke espoused anti-Semitic views in a 1990 interview published in an Edinburgh, Scotland, newspaper called Scotland on Sunday.

The 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, drugs, rape and immorality.

Duke denied making anti-Semitic remarks.

″There were no direct quotes in there on me knocking the Jewish people,″ he said. ″Again, some liberal journalist says I said something. Why didn’t she have a tape? She taped the interview. Why didn’t she produce it?″

Update hourly