Earlier, President Donald Trump rallied on Friday in the state to support the Republican candidates on the eve of the election, calling Edwards "a liberal Democrat who has sold you out".
Edwards, meanwhile, at this his election watch party last night in Baton Rouge urged voters to focus on his policies- not his political party. That's actually an improvement for him from 2015 when he finished the primary with 39%, going on to win a decisive, eleven point victory over Republican David Vitter.
National Republicans bombarded Louisiana with advertising and get-out-the-vote events to keep Edwards below 50%, with Trump making a last-minute, in-person appeal to Louisiana's voters.
Edwards' wasn't the only camp to plan around the LSU-Florida game, as Republican challenger Ralph Abraham's office also had the game on as results came in. On Saturday morning, Edwards was in New Orleans at the scene of a partial building collapse.
Republican millionaire Eddie Rispone, making his first bid for public office, edged his way into a November 16 runoff with incumbent Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards.
"I am proud to endorse Eddie Rispone to be our next Governor".
Having President Trump's vocal and physically present support should boost Rispone.
Edwards (D) faces five challengers in the election: Republicans Abraham, Rispone and Patrick "Live Wire" Landry, Democrat Oscar "Omar" Dantzler and independent Gary Landrieu. Three other lesser-known contenders also ran.
The Republican anti-Edwards onslaught is only expected to intensify over the remaining five weeks of the race.
Republicans are working to nationalize the Louisiana governor's race, but Edwards doesn't quite fit the mold of national Democratic politics.
Throughout his campaign, Edwards sought to make the election a referendum on his performance rather than a commentary on Louisiana views on national politics.
He contrasted three recent years of budget surpluses with the deficit-riddled terms of his predecessor, Republican Bobby Jindal.
He expanded Medicaid, adding almost a half-million new people to government-financed health care and lowering the state's uninsured rate below the national average. A bipartisan criminal sentencing law rewrite he championed ended Louisiana's tenure as the nation's top jailer.
Barbara Bacot, a retired state employee, said she voted for Edwards.
"He has done a very good job in the teeth of opposition from people who should know better".
Republicans said Edwards raised taxes too high, stifling economic development and chasing people from Louisiana.
The race has drawn national GOP interest. Edwards, Trump said on Twitter, "has done a poor job" as governor, and he called Rispone "a great Republican" in all caps.
"My fellow Louisianians, we are not going back", Edwards told his supporters at his post-election gathering. "It's time to do something different".
An October poll shows Edwards with 48 percent support compared to Rispone's 25 percent and Abraham's 23 percent, leaving about 4 percent who said they would support someone else. "He'd be a good businessman for the state like Trump is for the country", she said.