Poll: Senator Boozman Has Commanding Lead Over GOP Rival

File photo of U.S. Senator John Boozman speaking in Little Rock.
Credit Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Incumbent U.S. Sen. John Boozman. R-Ark., has a commanding 45-point lead over his Republican challenger Curtis Coleman, while Democratic voters are positive – but still undecided – on their attitudes toward Senate challenger Conner Eldridge.

New polling from Talk Business & Politics and Hendrix College indicates that Boozman will easily win his party’s nomination in the upcoming March 1 primary.

Q: There are two Republican candidates for U.S. Senate: Curtis Coleman and Senator John Boozman. If the election were today, for whom would you vote?

23% Curtis Coleman
68% Senator John Boozman
9% Don’t Know

Boozman is running for re-election for the first time since 2010 when he defeated Coleman and seven other competitors for the GOP nod. Boozman won that primary without a run-off and easily defeated Democratic Sen. Blanche Lincoln.

“John Boozman is in good standing with likely Republican voters and should not have any trouble dispatching Coleman on March 1,” said Talk Business & Politics Editor-in-Chief Roby Brock.

The TB&P-Hendrix survey interviewed 457 likely GOP voters and 451 likely Democratic voters on Feb. 4, 2016. The two polls have a margin of error of +/-4.6%.

Democratic voters were asked to provide opinions of their presumptive nominee, Conner Eldridge, a former banker and U.S. attorney who is making his first bid for public office.

Q: What are your feelings toward Conner Eldridge, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate?

17.5% Very Positive
20% Somewhat Positive
30% Neutral
3.5% Somewhat Negative
4% Very Negative
25% Don’t Know

ANALYSIS
Dr. Jay Barth, professor of political science at Hendrix College, helped construct and analyze the survey. He offered his opinion on the results:

U.S. Senate Race

U.S. Senator John Boozman appears on his way to an easy primary victory against Curtis Coleman based on our survey of Arkansas GOP primary voters. Nearly 7 in 10 of those voters plan to support the incumbent. Boozman runs well with all key groups of Arkansas GOP voters. Whomever wins the GOP primary will face former U.S. Prosecutor Conner Eldridge, the Democratic nominee.

Our survey of Democratic voters finds that a quarter of that electorate lacks information necessary to evaluate Eldridge while 30% describe themselves as neutral. While most of those who have opinions of Eldridge are positive, it’s quite clear that the Democratic nominee has a great deal of work to do in introducing himself to his fellow partisans before he moves towards appeals to a general election audience.

You can read previous polling results from this survey as well as demographic breakdowns and poll methodology here and here.

All media outlets are welcome to reprint, reproduce, or rebroadcast information from this poll with proper attribution to Talk Business & Politics and Hendrix College.