Public Policy Polling robopolled 1,000 Arkansans in mid-December on the U.S. Senate and gubernatorial races and found them both up for grabs.
Incumbent Democrat Mark Pryor 44
Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton 44
Democrat Mike Ross 43
Republican Asa Hutchinson 44
Republicans scoff that 1) PPP is known as a Democratic polling firm (true, but their national results have been as good as any and better than many); 2) there’s an uneven representation of identified Republicans and Democrats (37D-27R). I agree that’s somewhat problematic. But we know from a lot of other polling that, while Democrats tend to maintain a slight plurality among Arkansas voters in party identification, we also know that the growing group of self-identified independents (37 percent here) trends heavily Republican.
I like these results because they mirror my thinking. A tossup to be decided by a sliver of undecideds who increasingly lean conservative. Which is why you won’t see Mark Pryor or Mike Ross waving a liberal standard in the months ahead. You also have an incumbent senator and a quasi-incumbent based on his frequent statewide races, Asa Hutchinson, who can’t crack 50 percent. Get ready for a tsunami of lying advertising.
Noted: Republican polls have favored the Republican candidates.
PPP said the poll was commissioned by Americans United for Change, a progressive lobby. Consequently the poll had a number of minimum wage increase questions, with a 52-38 margin for an increase to $10 an hour and a plurality of 47 percent willing to support a candidate supporting a wage increase.
Pryor enjoyed a gender gap among women, Cotton among men. Same deal on governor’s race.
Given the backing of the poll, it’s not surprising that PPP’s comments and analysis emphasize the value of supporting a minimum wage increase to political candidates.