A new Talk Business/Hendrix College poll today shows Republican Asa Hutchinson with a five-point lead over Democratic candidate Mike Ross 46-41 in the race for governor. Green candidate Joshua Drake and Libertarian Frank Gilbert had 2.5 and 3 percent respectively. About 7 percent are undecided.
The poll sampled more than 1,700 voters and had a 2.3 percent margin of error.
Hutchinson again, like Cotton, enjoyed a lead among seniors, but also had a one-point lead among women. His 50-33 margin among independents was important.
Ross trailed in the 4th District, which he represented but which also now has different boundaries than when he ran there. He led in the 2nd District. That, at least, might offer some hope to 2nd District Democratic Congressional candidate Patrick Henry Hays. (I erroneously wrote Hutchinson in the lead word of this paragraph originally.) Mark Pryor led Tom Cotton in the 2nd District as well.
The survey was drawn from the same people who answered questions about the U.S. Senate race yesterday, where Tom Cotton had a 2-point lead over Mark Pryor, 44-42. That sample group included 8 percent black voters, less than they historically represent. In the last non-presidential year, black voters accounted for 11 percent of the vote. They typically vote strongly Democratic.
Republicans have taken steps with the Voter ID law to suppress minority voting and their efforts showed some success in the primary election, when the vast majority of absentee voters rejected were Democrats and often from Delta counties with heavy minority populations.
Here’s the full Talk Business rundown.
In April, Talk Business/Hendrix had Ross up by 1 point, 44-43. Earlier in the year, Hutchinson led 41-37.
The Ross campaign response:
This poll was conducted in the midst of a heavy TV ad buy from the Hutchinson campaign and the RGA. It was also conducted before Congressman Hutchinson’s infamous “Farm Bureau Fiasco” moment and before Congressman Hutchinson’s tax credit scandal broke, leading to three damaging front-page stories in the Democrat Gazette in just four days – all of which are now raising legitimate concerns about Congressman Hutchinson’s trustworthiness and ability to connect with voters. We have said all along that as voters get to know both candidates, their backgrounds and their policies, they will support Mike Ross who has always fought for working families and seniors here in Arkansas. The bottom line is that Mike Ross has ample room to grow over the next few months, and, with a historic grassroots campaign in place, he will win this race.