Voters in Louisiana head to the polls in just three weeks for the first round in the process of selecting a successor to Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal, who is term limited. The conventional wisdom has long held that the race is GOP Sen. David Vitter’s to lose, but recent polling and a barrage of negative ads aimed at Vitter suggests that the race is closer than it ought to be. The reality, though, is that Vitter’s odds of winning the race are still pretty strong. There are nine candidates competing in the October 24 election. The four Democrats are: attorney Cary Deaton, state House Minority Leader John Bel Edwards, minister Jeremy Odom, and small businessman S.L. Simpson. Of this group, Edwards is the only first-tier candidate. There are three Republican candidates: Vitter, Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle, and Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne. And, there are two independents in the race: small businessman Beryl Billiot and Eric Orgeron, but neither is a factor. Essentially the race is between Edwards, Vitter, Angelle and Dardenne. All nine candidates will appear on a single

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