French Hill and Rep. Bruce Westerman hold sizable leads in their Republican primary races for U.S. Congress, according to a new round of Talk Business-Hendrix College polling.
The latest survey, which polled likely GOP voters in the Second and Fourth Congressional Districts, shows Hill with more than 50% support against two rivals and Westerman near 50% against his primary opponent.
Q. There are three Republican candidates for the Second District Congressional seat: French Hill, Colonel Conrad Reynolds and Representative Ann Clemmer. If the election were today, for whom would you vote?
59% French Hill
14% Colonel Conrad Reynolds
7% Ann Clemmer
20% Don’t Know
Q. There are two Republican candidates for the Fourth District Congressional seat: Tommy Moll and Representative Bruce Westerman. If the election were today, for whom would you vote?
10% Tommy Moll
47% Bruce Westerman
43% Don’t Know
“There is a strong possibility that Hill could win his three-person primary without a run-off unless the dynamics of the Second District Republican race change dramatically in the next two weeks,” said Talk Business editor-in-chief Roby Brock. “With just one opponent, Bruce Westerman appears poised to win the Fourth District GOP nomination.”
On this week’s edition of Talk Business & Politics, Robert Coon with Impact Management Group and Skip Rutherford, dean of the Clinton School for Public Service, discussed the survey results.
The winner of the Second District Congressional GOP primary will face Democrat Pat Hays and Libertarian Debbie Standiford in the fall.
The GOP nominee in the Fourth District will face Democrat James Lee Witt and Libertarian Ken Hamilton in November.
On Friday, a Talk Business-Hendrix College Poll suggested that the three-way race for Attorney General may be headed for a run-off with a large number of undecided voters.
Next week, additional poll results will be released on the GOP primary races for Governor, Lt. Governor, Treasurer and Auditor.
Dr. Jay Barth, professor of political science at Hendrix College, helped craft and analyze the latest poll. He offered the following analysis:
Congressional District 2:
Little Rock banker French Hill has developed a solid lead in the race for the GOP nomination in central Arkansas’s Second Congressional District.
Hill, whose fundraising advantage in the race has allowed him to advertise much more widely than his opponents, leads similarly among all key demographic groups. While he leads solidly in every county in the district — including those of his two opponents, State Rep. Ann Clemmer of Saline County and Col. Conrad Reynolds from Faulkner County — his majority support in our survey is driven particularly by his strong support (69%) in the populous Pulaski County.
While his underfunded opponents are just now starting their advertising in the race, Clemmer and Reynolds have serious work to do to bring Hill under 50% and force a runoff in the race.
Congressional District 4:
The seat being vacated by Cong. Tom Cotton is a race between State Rep. Bruce Westerman and political newcomer Tommy Moll and Westerman is showing a solid lead in the lead up to the May 20th vote that will determine the GOP nominee.
Westerman leads throughout the sprawling district among all key demographic groups. The key question is whether Moll, who has a fundraising advantage in the race, can make up ground with the large number of probable primary voters yet to focus on the race.
These two surveys were conducted by Talk Business Research and Hendrix College on Tuesday, April 29, 2014 using IVR survey technology. Voters had to have a history of voting in Republican primaries and they had to indicate their preference to vote in this year’s GOP primary to participate in the poll. There were no cell phones used in this survey as it was not determined to largely impact the results collected from the initial IVR samples. The surveys are weighted for gender. The Second District poll surveyed 360 likely GOP primary voters and has a margin of error of +/- 5.1%. The Fourth District poll surveyed 392 likely GOP primary voters and has a margin of error of +/- 4.9%.