Against the backdrop of Gov. Bobby Jindal reaching the end of his allowable terms and the state economy starting to slowly pick back up, a new statewide poll released before the holiday break shows U.S. Sen. David Vitter of Metairie atop a gubernatorial field dominated by Republicans.

U.S. Sen. David Vitter

In the developing race for governor in 2015, only the chairman of the Louisiana House Democratic Caucus represents the other side of the political spectrum. For now.

The 600-sample poll by Southern Media and Opinion Research was taken over six days beginning Nov. 6. It was funded by a group of private subscribers and has a 4 percent plus or minus margin of error.

The results have Vitter at 30 percent; Treasurer John Kennedy of Madisonville, 19 percent; Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne of Baton Rouge, 18 percent; state Rep. John Bel Edwards, D-Amite, 8 percent; and Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle of Breaux Bridge, 2 percent.

Only Edwards has officially declared his candidacy. Dardenne, however, who has a new campaign website, isn’t far behind.

While Republican candidates garnered 70 percent of the support in the survey, pollster Bernie Pinsonat predicted that Democratic numbers could grow as either Edwards becomes better known or a more recognizable Democrat gets in the race.

Vitter is buoyed by his strength among Republicans, with 78 percent approving of his job performance and 50 percent favoring him for governor.

[Editor's Note: On Dec. 3 The Associated Press reported that Vitter has confirmed he is weighing whether he’ll run for governor. He says he will decide by January. Vitter told AP he is sending an email to supporters Dec. 4, announcing that he and his wife are considering the race for the 2015 election. “This is the logical time to do it, if I’m ever going to do it,” Vitter said of the race, according to AP. The story noted that other possible GOP contenders have been waiting for Vitter’s decision before deciding to run.]

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