Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Seats becoming competitive

A new Arkansas poll out this morning found just 27% of voters saying they would definitely vote to reelect Blanche Lincoln with 60% saying they would not.

I'd already been thinking there was a lot of potential for Arkansas to move into the top ten list of seats most likely to flip next year, and this just confirms it. I actually think this seat is more vulnerable for Democrats than the ones in Pennsylvania or Illinois- I'd put it in a quartet with Connecticut, Colorado, and Nevada as the ones most likely to be lost next year. I'd add North Dakota to that list also if John Hoeven runs.

So what's the deal in Arkansas?

-For one thing Lincoln was leading by only 9-11 points in March when we polled there against two potential challengers with less than 20% positive name recognition even with their party labels attached. Richard Burr's vulnerability has received a lot more attention (probably because we poll it every month) but those kinds of numbers are very similar to what he has been pulling. Arkansas may be a good example of an under polled state being able to stay under the radar for a longer period of time than ones like North Carolina that get polled constantly by multiple organizations.

-Arkansas is one of the few states where Barack Obama did worse than John Kerry- and he did a lot worse- losing by almost twice as large a margin. Arkansas certainly is a state that has separated out its voting at the state level from the national level but with Obama likely very unpopular in the state and the Democratic Congress perhaps even less so, it's going to be harder for Lincoln to separate herself from that. The trend in how state voters view Democrats at the federal level is not a good one for Lincoln.

-Decreased black turnout would have a big impact here. Arkansas' population is 16% black, yet even with Obama on the ballot last year the state's exit poll showed only 12% of the electorate as African Americans. If that's true I wouldn't be surprised to see it drop into single digits without him at the top of the ticket, and white voters in Arkansas are very conservative.

This is the kind of race where the GOP doesn't need a super star candidate because the election is going to be more a referendum on Obama and Congressional Democrats as channeled through Lincoln than anything else. But they do need a candidate who has some fundraising capacity and can avoid making a fool of himself/herself- I think the GOP has a pretty strong opportunity here but it remains to be seen whether they can capitalize on it.

This is a seat that looks like it could be competitive primarily because of the shift toward Republicans nationally- what other under the radar Senate races could be more competitive than is currently expected?

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Tom - will PPP poll this race soon? It would be great to see some numbers from a legitimate pollster.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for stating the obvious. Most of us allready knew that in arkansas. What you didn't write, is Arkansas is a very populist state. Over 94% of the registered voters are listed as optional. (Independent). There is one independent candidate, Trevor Drown, the former Green Beret, who has received a lot of support in the rural communities of Arkansas. So for you to not even mention it, means you did not do your research or you buy into the concept that we must remain a two party system. Let us know which it is.

James Carville said...

It seems we always have the choice of voting for the lesser of two evils. I am tired of it. I am looking for someone that cares and it looks I may have found him. I have not met him yet, but I have talked to some people that have. Trevor Drown, the former Green Beret from Russellville is a honest hardworking Arkansan, that has conservative values, is a leader and bridge-builder. He is not supported by either party and is not funded by all the special interest groups. But I will tell you from what I have seen on his website and what I heard from people in the Russellville area, I am impressed. He has my support and he will get my vote. Many of us don't know it but we have a gem in Arkansas that will be a great leader in the US Senate and his name is Trevor Drown.

Elle said...

Maybe this year, the people of Arkansas will be able to vote their consciences. If Senator Lincoln isn't appealing to her constituencies anymore, and the Republicans can't seem to find anyone worthwhile, perhaps an Independent like Trevor Drown who is making a point of listening to the people will be able to make some traction. At least I hope so!

robert said...

I agree that Blanche has done my state a very poor job. Obvisously my party will not have another choice besides her, but I cannot go with a choice from our disorganized and misspeaking Republicans who cannot seem to keep their foot out of their mouths. It is also the same good ol boy politics as usual. I am ready for a change. I have done some searching and have found what appears to be a genuine American who is in touch with reality and the everyday people of Arkansas. He is a combat veteran which alone in my book sets him apart from many. His name is Trevor Drown from Russellville and he is running as an Independent against Blanche Lincoln. Although I have not done all the research on him yet he certainly has my eye, and if nothing changes with him he has this democrats vote. I encourage everyone to check him out. I found him at trevordrown.com.

Anonymous said...

I for one would never vote for anyone that called me UN-American, apology just don't get it, from the look on Blanche Lincoln's face it wasn't from the heart, she just realized she had put a foot in her mouth.I am looking for someone that cares and will listen to the people and their concerns, from what I have read in Trevor Drown's bio and the people I have talked with HE is the man, someone that will listen and cares to stand up for the people, he is concerned in the way this State and country are heading, read his bio trevor drown.com and lets stand up with him to Daretomakeadifference.Its time we let our voices be heard.Its time we vote for what's right,rather than vote PARTY.

John L. said...

O.K. I've seen Trevor Drown's name mentioned on several blogs that I've been reading. With Blanche Lincoln so "out of touch" with her "people", I'm looking for someone fresh and will to listen to the people of Arkansas. So far, with what I've read about the former Green Beret from Russellville, I'm impressed.

I'm looking forward to hearing more from him and about him.

william said...

Elle,

Thanks for the info. I had not heard of Trevor Drown until reading these post. I am one of the many that have southern conservative values and vote for the person not the party. I too hope that he will be given the attention he deserves. I will be voting for the Independent for Arkansas Senate. If you find any more info e-mail me at nwarkansan@gmail.com. Thanks

Anonymous said...

Trevor Drown, Trevor Drown, that is all I ever hear, from you tea-party Nazis. Look indpendents never go anywhere. With Obama making all the mistakes he is making,he is leading the dems right off the cliff like lemmings. If I had to lay money on it, I believe the State GOP will get it together and support Huckabee's guy Coldman Curtis.

Arkansas Voter said...

Thanks for the comments on Drown. This is very helpful for me because I often make my voting decisions based on the comments section of out of state polling blogs.

Can you tell me more about this Trevor Drown fellow? Is it true that his pee really does turn into wine?

Anonymous said...

I am one of "Tea-Party Nazis" as referrd by a previous blogger that obviously is an AR GOP member. Well it is kinda funny because I to am (was) an AR GOP member. It is that kind of mentality that is making me go to an Independant. The "Tea-party" people are people are tired of government as usual. I will be voting for Trevor Drown. THANK YOU for reinforcing my decision.

william said...

Look at tolbertreport.com and see why I will be voting for Independent Candidate Trevor Drown. On the site there is a pole running to see which GOP would get the most votes...the problem...there is nine names. Of these nine names State Senator Baker has talked to two of them and taken them (Coleman and Reynolds)under his wing like a good shepard. Their confused and I'm confused. What clears up this muddy mess is to know that I have a voice in Trevor Drown. Thank you Mr.Drown for stepping up to the plate in times of war and peace.

Anonymous said...

This is one astroturfer who will not be voting for Trevon Drown.

Anonymous said...

So it begs the question. Why do you vote or not vote for Trevor Drown? Possible reasons to vote for him, he is different, independent, not a party person, a war veteran a green beret, you met him, you like him, etc. There are so many reasons. If you are not going to vote for him the above may also be the reason. You may also be very short-sighted and think that we need a two party system. Or that Trevor will split the vote. But, here is a fact, for every one registered voter of a political party in Arkansas there are 13 registered as independents. The final reason for voicing your reason to not vote for him is you do not like the attention he is getting. That is fine and understandable. But also realize that when you write his name regardless the reason, you just validated his existance and that he is a viable candidate and a threat.

Thank you

Andrea said...

Thanks for the article. I found it very informative. This is an indicates we need a change in Arkansas. Lincoln, has been getting hammered in the last few days here by the people. She has ducked them and scheduled no town meetings and avoiding confrontation. She is acting like the Absentee Land Owner of olden days. Rape the land for what it giver her (voters) and do nothing to sustain it. Then she doesn’t understand when she returns to the plantation and finds the serfs in revolt. So it scares her and she runs, rather than face the music and vote the way Arkansans want. So now she wants to change her mind and stop the democratic tide of supporting Cap and Trade. Well she can only run till November 2010 and then she can go home to Washington DC and rest. It is time for change.
The republican party in Arkansas is a joke. They are all bloated fat banker types who look like week old ground venison over stuffed into a sausage sleeve. Not to mention racists and out of touch. There is a populist movement taking place across Arkansas and we will be heard, remembered and vote. Regnat Populus

EagleII said...

Trevor Drown is gaining momentum and rightly so. A green beret who already has put his money where his mouth is in combat in Afghanistan, Trevor has paid a price for all of our freedoms.

Consider supporting a son of Arkansas and a Patriot Trevor Drown.
Go here to find out what you can do to help.

http://trevordrown.ning.com

Eagle II

 
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