Asa Hutchinson, the GOP nominee for Arkansas Governor, has an 8-point lead over his Democratic rival, Mike Ross, according to a new Talk Business & Politics-Hendrix College Poll.
Q: In the race for Governor, the candidates are Libertarian Frank Gilbert, Green Party Candidate Joshua Drake, Republican Asa Hutchinson, and Democrat Mike Ross. If the election for Governor were today, which candidate would you support?
2.5% Libertarian Frank Gilbert
2% Green candidate Joshua Drake
49% Republican Asa Hutchinson
41% Democrat Mike Ross
In a late July TB&P-Hendrix poll, Hutchinson held a five-point lead over Ross 46-41%. The new polling of 2,075 likely Arkansas voters was conducted on Wednesday, Oct. 15 and Thursday, Oct. 16. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 2.2% and includes live cell phone calls (16%) and automated landline respondents.
The statewide results are a compilation of four different Congressional District level surveys completed from four different Congressional District level samples. This combination not only offers a “super-sized” poll for statewide results, but allows for large enough sample sizes at the Congressional District level to draw detailed observations. More on the methodology is discussed at the bottom of this post.
“With two weeks until Election Day, Republican Asa Hutchinson is in a solid position to win the Governor’s race,” said Talk Business & Politics Editor-in-Chief Roby Brock. “We see many similar voter patterns in the Governor’s race and the Senate race that suggest at the top of the ticket voters are leaning to Hutchinson and Cotton. As I’ve said previously, Democratic efforts to rally new and dormant voters remain the ‘X’ factor.”
Talk Business & Politics and Hendrix College have released several other polling results related to this latest battery of surveys in the First, Second, Third and Fourth Congressional Districts, the U.S. Senate race and involving three ballot measures.
Dr. Jay Barth, professor of political science at Hendrix College, helped analyze the survey results in the Governor’s race.
In the battle to replace Governor Mike Beebe, former Congressman Asa Hutchinson has enlarged his lead since our last check-in on the race in July.
Then, Hutchinson led former Fourth District Congressman Mike Ross by a margin of 46% to 41%. Now, while Ross has held his support at 41%, Hutchinson is nearing a majority of the electorate. Libertarian Frank Gilbert and Green Party candidate Joshua Drake trail in low single digits.
As discussed in our results on the U.S. Senate race yesterday, Democratic operatives believe that the turnout patterns in 2014 will differ from those in 2010 (on which we rely for our weighting). Even with key racial and age groups weighted in the manner Democrats hope for, Hutchinson maintains a 6-point lead, also outside the margin of error in this large poll sample.
While both Ross and Hutchinson have strong support from fellow partisans, Hutchinson’s overall lead is driven by his large lead among Independent voters. With that group, he gains 55% of the vote to Ross’s 32%.
In terms of key demographic groups, Ross does lead with the youngest voters (those under 30). This group is also more likely to be undecided or supportive of the third party candidates. Hutchinson has leads among all other age groups, including nearing 50% with both of the two older age groups.
A gender gap remains present although it is driven mostly by Hutchinson’s strong lead among men (he leads 53%-38%). The two are nearly tied among women where Hutchinson has a 1% lead. Hutchinson is gaining just over 10% of the African-American electorate and is winning white voters 53% to 38%.
Finally, Hutchinson leads in three of the state’s four congressional districts, including Ross’s former home Fourth District (which was redrawn in 2011). He gains 51%, 57%, and 48%, respectively in the First, Third, and Fourth Districts. Ross does lead in the Second District, which is showing itself to be one of the Democrats’ brighter spots in this cycle 48%-41%.
Editor’s note: Dr. Barth has been a financial contributor to the Ross campaign.
This survey was conducted by Talk Business & Politics and Hendrix College on Wednesday and Thursday, October 15 and 16, 2014. The poll, which has a margin of error of +/-2.2%, was completed using IVR survey technology and live cell phone respondents among 2,075 frequent voters in Arkansas. Only respondents who positively identified that they planned to vote in the November 4th general election were allowed to complete the survey.
Approximately 16% of the voters in our sample were contacted via cell phone with live callers. This is in response to the increased reliance by voters on cell phones. Additionally, we applied generally standard weighting to the poll results based on age, gender, race and Congressional Districts.
Age (weighted according to 2010 statewide vote):
8% Under the age of 30
19% Between the ages of 30 and 44
41% Between the ages of 45 and 64
32% 65 or older
Ethnicity (weighted according to 2010 statewide vote):
11% African American
1% Asian American
83% Caucasian or White
Party Identification (unweighted):
Gender (weighted according to 2010 statewide vote):
Congressional Districts (weighted according to 2010 population):
All media outlets are welcome to reprint, reproduce, or rebroadcast information from this poll with proper attribution to Talk Business & Politics and Hendrix College.