NEW ORLEANS — With just over six weeks before voters decide who should be the governor of Louisiana, you can expect to see more political ads coming at you.
One of the biggest issues in the race will be the state's economy. That issue is up for debate.
In one recent political ad by the Republican Governors Association, some scary music was played under the advertisement that described how poorly John Bel Edwards is doing when it comes to Louisiana's economy.
Not surprisingly, the mood is more upbeat in an ad by Edwards' campaign released earlier this summer. The ad tries to convey the message that the state's economy is improving under the governor's watch.
"It's pretty healthy. In other words, the important things have been done, the budget is balanced for instance. We have those federal funds for healthcare and things like that, but we're not a booming economy," said Peter Ricchiuti, a finance professor at Tulane University.
Numbers may not lie, but they can sure be spun. Recently, Republicans pointed to figures on non-farm jobs in Louisiana to say overall jobs have declined over the past year under Edwards.
The governor's campaign highlighted the seasonally adjusted version of those figures to say they've grown in the past year.
Both are actually right, but Ricchiuti says jobs don't tell the whole story.
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"There's spin on both sides. There's just no question about that, but when you take into account the oil industry has basically disappeared and trade has been slowing down, the rest of the economy is doing relatively well," said Ricchiuti.
Ricchiutti says the strength of the state's economy isn't so reliant on the governor, regardless of who is in office. He says the current price of oil and tariffs are bigger factors. It's a message that may not fit into either side's campaign strategy.
The two major Republican candidates in the race, Ed Rispone and Ralph Abraham, have both criticized Governor Edwards' handling of the economy. Election day is October 12.
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