May 12, 2014
5/12: Arkansas Senate and Governor Races
NBC News/Marist Poll
In the race for U.S. Senate in Arkansas, Democratic incumbent Mark Pryor is ahead of Republican Tom Cotton, 51% to 40%, among registered voters statewide including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate. Two percent support another candidate, and 7% are undecided.
POLL MUST BE SOURCED: NBC News/Marist Poll
“These results give us a sense of who is ahead among all potential voters,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “As we get closer to November, polling will be able to identify the character of the electorate for this election cycle.”
- Party ID. A partisan divide exists. Most Democrats — 89% — back Pryor while only 5% are for Cotton. Among Republicans, most — 85% — support Cotton compared with 10% for Pryor. Among independents, Pryor edges Cotton, 48% to 41%.
- Gender. There is a gender gap. A majority of women voters — 55% — are for Pryor while 35% are behind Cotton. Men divide. 46% of male voters support Pryor while the same proportion — 46% — backs Cotton.
- Race. While 85% of African American voters support Pryor, white voters divide. 46% of white voters support Pryor while the same proportion — 46% — are for Cotton.
- White Evangelical Christians. Cotton leads Pryor, 58% to 36%, among registered voters who are white and describe themselves as Evangelical Christians. One percent supports another candidate, and 5% are undecided.
- President Obama. Pryor overwhelmingly carries voters who approve of the job Barack Obama is doing as president, 86% to 9% for Cotton. Among voters who disapprove of the president’s performance in office, Cotton leads 61% to 32% for Pryor.
“So far, Senator Pryor has staved off Cotton’s challenge,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “Holding this seat is no easy task for a Democrat with President Obama’s approval rating at 33% in the state.”
Plurality with Favorable Impression of Pryor…Cotton with Mixed Reviews
46% of Arkansans have a favorable opinion of Pryor while 32% have an unfavorable view of him. Nine percent have never heard of Pryor, and 14% are unsure how to rate him. Among registered voters statewide, 50% think well of Pryor while 35% have a lesser view of him. 11% are unsure how to rate him.
47% of white Evangelical Christians like Pryor while 38% have a negative opinion of him. Five percent have never heard of Pryor, and 10% are unsure how to rate him.
When it comes to Cotton, 37% of Arkansas residents have an unfavorableview of him, 34% have a positive opinion of him. 15% have never heard of Cotton, and 14% are unsure how to rate him. Among registered voters, 39% have a negative view of Cotton. 38% like him, and 9% have never heard of him. 14% are unsure how to rate him. Among white Evangelical Christians, 48% have a positive opinion of Cotton. 31% have a negative one, and 8% have never heard of Cotton. 13% are unsure how to rate him.
Hutchinson with Advantage in Governor’s Race
Looking at the gubernatorial contest in Arkansas, Republican Asa Hutchinson — 49% — leads Democrat Mike Ross — 42% — by 7 points among registered voters including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate. Two percent back another candidate, and 7% are undecided.
- Party ID. 89% of Republicans are for Hutchinson. This compares with 78% of Democrats who are for Ross. 52% of independents support Hutchinson while 37% are for Ross.
- Race. 71% of African American voters support Ross while 56% of white voters are for Hutchinson.
- White Evangelical Christians. By more than two-to-one, Hutchinson leads Ross among those who are white and describe themselves as Evangelical Christians. 69% support Hutchinson while 27% are for Ross.
Nearly Three in Four Approve of Beebe’s Job Performance
74% of adults approve of how Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe is doing in office. 13% disapprove, and 13% are unsure. Among registered voters in the state, 79% applaud Beebe’s job performance. 13% think he has fallen short, and 9% are unsure.
And, what do Arkansas residents think of the state’s most famous governor? Seven in ten — 70% — have a favorable impression of former President Bill Clinton while 26% have an unfavorable view of him. Four percent are unsure how to rate Clinton. Looking at registered voters, 68% like Clinton, 28% do not, and 3% are unsure how to rate him.
Majority in Arkansas Disapproves of Obama’s Job Performance
57% of residents statewide disapprove of the job Barack Obama is doing as president. 33% approve, and 9% are unsure. Among registered voters, 60% think Obama has missed the mark. 34% approve of the president’s job performance, and 6% are unsure.
Do adults in Arkansas approve of the president’s Affordable Care Act? A majority — 54% — thinks the health care law is a bad idea. This includes 47% who strongly hold this opinion and 7% who somewhat do. 30% believe the health care law is a good one. Included here are 21% who strongly support the program and 9% who just think it’s a good idea. 14% of residents have no opinion either way, and 2% are unsure.
Nearly Seven in Ten Say Nation is Off Course
68% of Arkansans say the nation is moving in the wrong direction. 27% believe it is on track. An additional 5% are unsure. Similar proportions of registered voters have these opinions. 69% believe the nation is off track. 27% say it is on course. Four percent are unsure.