Much like previous polls, the latest Talk Business-Hendrix College Poll has presumptive gubernatorial nominees Democrat Mike Ross and Republican Asa Hutchinson just about even. Ross got 44 percent, Hutchinson got 43 percent, with 8 percent undecided. The poll, which was conducted on April 3 and 4, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent.
Here’s some analysis from Jay Barth, who helped put together the poll:
Looking ahead to that general election, Democrat Ross has a tiny lead (44-43%) over Republican Hutchinson, well within the survey’s margin of error. Both candidates have strong support among their partisan bases, but while Hutchinson leads with independents that lead is not quite large enough to overcome the slight Democratic advantage in partisan identification. The fact that Ross has withstood a barrage of negative ads in recent weeks suggests that the race for Governor will likely stay close throughout the months ahead.
Examining the cross tabs in the race for Governor, a small gender gap is emerging in the race with Hutchinson leading among men while Ross has a lead among women (historically the larger group of voters in the Arkansas electorate).
Looking geographically, Ross is holding his own in his native Fourth district, which has skewed decidedly Republican in recent cycles while the other three congressional districts show the typical patterns – Republicans running best in the Third, while the Democrats run best in central Arkansas’s Second district.