The Times reported Dec. 9 on telephone polling about the race for 2nd District Congress, including questions matching incumbent Republican Rep. French Hill of Little Rock against Democratic state Rep. Clarke Tucker of Little Rock.
Talk has been circulating that the results might encourage Tucker’s entry into the race. He has no comments on either
You could guess the outline of the poll results without seeing them — support for a Democrat against Hill in Pulaski County, which he couldn’t carry against an unfunded unknown two years ago and support for anybody with an R after their name in the outlying counties. It also wouldn’t be a surprise to see Hill below 50 percent support, given the throw-the-bums-out temperature of the times and the particularly low approval rating of the GOP Congress.
The interesting results would be those on needle-moving questions. Is health care a winner in Arkansas, for example? It was in Virginia, where a Democrat won the governor’s race and Democrats almost erased a 32-seat Republican state House advantage. Suburban districts with swing voters were powerful in Virginia for Democrats. Faulkner County might fit that profile in Arkansas’s 2nd District, or at least that part
You’d think health care would be a plus in a state where more than 300,000 have benefitted from the Obamacare Medicaid expansion. French Hill has backed Donald Trump down the line, which might be a negative some places, but I suspect Trump retains more popularity in Arkansas.
Hill is sitting on more than $1 million in campaign money, heavily powered by contributions from the securities and banking industry (major beneficiaries of the tax legislation that Hill supported, by the way). Any Democrat will have to raise money first to win the primary, a challenge Hill likely won’t face. And French Hill, apart from being a wealthy banker, carries no baggage of the sort that beat Roy Moore in Alabama.