Arkansas Republicans at the top of the ticket for US Senate, governor and attorney general have double-digit leads in their race against their Democratic challengers.
The latest Talk Business & Politics survey of 835 Arkansas voters pointed to victories for Sen. John Boozman, former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin over their Democratic rivals in a crowded political environment.
All three races were tested in the recent TB&P-Hendrix Poll.
Q: If the US Senate election were held today, which of the following candidates would you choose?
do you prefer
43.5% Sen. John Boozman (R)
30.5% Natalie James (D)
5% Kenneth Cates (L)
Question: If the election for governor was held today, which of the following candidates would be the candidate?
do you prefer
51% Sarah Huckabee Sanders (R)
40% Chris Jones (D)
2% Ricky Dale Harrington, Jr. (L)
Question: If the race for Attorney General was held today, which of the following would it be?
Do you choose candidates?
49% Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin (R);
32% Jesse Gibson (D)
“In any case, I don’t expect these races to end with the numbers that this initial poll shows. As political spending kicks into high gear and undecideds make their choices, I expect each candidate’s numbers to rise. For well-funded candidates, I expect dramatic growth,” said Robbie Brock, editor-in-chief of Talk Business & Politics. “The trends in this poll show that independents aren’t leaning as Republican as they used to, but I’d have to see this phenomenon happen over more than one election cycle to call it a pendulum swing.”
On Monday, Talk Business and Politics will announce the election results on issues 1, 2 and 3. Results of studies related to abortion and recreational marijuana have been released.
Talk Business and Politics requires bipartisan input in the construction and analysis of its polls.
Dr. Jay Barth, professor of politics at Hendricks College, is active in Democratic Party politics and helped research and analyze the latest polls. He provided this analysis of the election results.
“This survey provides an opportunity to take the temperature of Arkansas voters in the three big races that will be decided in November: US Senate, governor and attorney general. In all three, it is clear that Republicans are well-served and can celebrate victories on November 8. However, US Senator John Boozman and Republican gubernatorial candidate Sarah Huckabee Sanders are running below expectations, while incumbent Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin has formed a strong alliance in the race to become the state’s attorney general.
“In his race, Bozeman is running evenly across the state’s geographic quadrants, working equally with college-educated and non-college-educated voters (a rarity for a Republican in the Trump era). A sharp age gap with challenger Natalie James is a big difference as Bozeman runs with younger voters, the larger and more engaged 65-and-and-out.” More than that, the electorate shows the race. The gender gap also manifests itself in the U.S. Senate race, with more women undecided in the race. Three-quarters of Democrats and Republicans, respectively, support their party’s nominee, but Boozman won the majority of Independents’ votes. Arkansas in Washington, D.C. James, who was unfunded and would become the first black person to be elected, did not garner the support of black voters, receiving less than the majority of the electorate.
While a large undecided vote manifested itself in the Senate race, nearly all voters chose their candidate in the high-profile race for Arkansas governor. Sarah Huckabee Sanders still has a double-digit lead in the race, despite falling short of expectations based on her name recognition and financial benefits. She has begun spending millions of dollars in her campaign coffers on a television campaign for the fall campaign. Still, Sanders drew on Trump’s coalition of white, male, rural voters over 45 without a college degree, while Democrat Chris Jones drew a coalition of college-educated, young, urban/urban voters, including older adults. Swaths of color selectors to stay at a certain level in the game. In addition to rallying Democratic voters, he won the majority of independent voters (44%) in the race. On the other hand, Sanders—the state’s first female governor—is overperforming for Republicans with female voters, despite the gender gap, with more male voters but a smaller majority of women.
“Republican attorney general candidate Tim Griffin will do the best job of the three major Republican candidates in bridging Trump’s coalition with the Republican establishment. For example, Griffin will do well with voters with and without college degrees, and he will work strongly with Republicans in all age groups, while his opponent, J.C. Gibson is running behind in a small segment of the electorate. Griffin has polled strongly with independent voters. Griffin seems poised to lead the ticket — at least in the three races we’ve tested.
Robert Kuhn, a partner with Impact Management Group, which works with Republican political candidates, helped compile and analyze the latest poll. He provided this analysis of the election results.
“Senator John Boozman leads his re-election campaign with 44% of the vote, beating his nearest challenger, Democrat Natalie James, by 14 percentage points. 21% of voters say they are currently undecided in the race, but among some, Boozman leads James 55%-38%, making this race It’s more indicative of how it will turn out in November. Bozeman’s core demographics are strong, giving James room to close the gap. He leads in every age group except voters under 30, which traditionally leans toward Democrats. Polling among Republicans (78%) shows that the base His support has grown since the primary, and he currently leads James by 6 percentage points among independents — a key group that some Republicans are fighting for post-Dobbs rule nationally. Boozman leads James 45% to 26% among voters without a college degree and among those with a degree. Between leads by 2-percentage points. Men favor Bozeman (51% to 30%), and he has a 6-percentage-point lead with women. Unaffiliated voters aside, the headwinds some Republicans see with independents and women don’t seem to be blowing against Bozeman in this race and this November. Months is on track to secure another term in the Senate.
“Sarah Huckabee Sanders leads Democratic challenger Chris Jones by 11 percentage points, with only 7% of voters in this race.” Jones may have benefited from the lack of a real primary challenge, giving him the luxury of messaging voters in the general election from the start of the campaign. Sanders leads in all age groups except for voters under 30, taking voters ages 45-64 (51%) and 65+ (58%). Like Donald Trump, Sanders finds strength with voters without a college degree (57%), while Jones leads among those with a degree (51%). Men (54%) and women (47%) both favor Sanders, though the gap with women is narrower (+3%). Sanders leads in all four congressional districts with significant margins in CD1 (+22%) and CD4 (+18%). As expected, Sanders does surprisingly well with voters who trust the former president very well (95%) and somewhat (87%), based on her close relationship with Donald Trump. Notably, though, she’s still beating Trump at 31% with slightly less favorable voters, showing more universal support than the previous president. Overall, following the primary season and the recent Supreme Court Dobbs decision, this current political climate could be a high-water mark for Democrats and a low-water mark for Republicans this cycle, with Sanders’ numbers likely to grow to a more comfortable victory. A margin of millions of dollars hitting the airwaves in the final weeks of the campaign.
“L. Governor Tim Griffin leads challenger Jesse Gibson by 17-percentage points in the race for attorney general, the largest margin of any race tested. Griffin leads in every age group except the under-30s, where he leads by just 1-percentage point. Republican voters are behind Griffin (85%) and he leads independents by 13 percentage points — a healthy margin in an uncertain political environment for Republicans. Griffin’s support is flat among men (57% to 29%), while he leads among women (+8%). Griffin is leading the polls in all four congressional districts with strong support in CD4 and CD2.
The survey of 835 likely Arkansas voters was conducted on September 12, 2022 and has a margin of error of +/- 3.8%.
Responses were collected by telephone via SMS. The poll is narrowly weighted to take into account key demographics, including age, ethnicity, education and gender. Additional methods are available upon request.
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