Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Blanche Lincoln Poll

John Boozman will enter the Arkansas Senate race this weekend as the frontrunner. He leads incumbent Blanche Lincoln by an amazing 56-33 margin in our first poll of the race.

Lincoln's approval rating has sunk to just 27%, with 62% of voters in the state disapproving of her. She's at a middling 51% even within her own party and just 17% of independents and 9% of Republicans are happy with how she's doing.

A look inside the health care issue gives a good indication of how Lincoln has managed now to get it from all sides. 61% of voters in the state oppose the President's plan, and among those folks Lincoln's approval rating is just 8% with 79% of them expressing the belief that she's too liberal. But she's managed to antagonize a lot of the people who support the Democratic health care plan as well- 36% of them think she's too conservative and her approval with them is just 57%. Barack Obama's at 95% with that same group of voters.

What it all adds up to is Boozman winning 89% of the Republican vote while Lincoln's at just 68% with Democrats. And Boozman has a 66-20 lead with independents as well.

Boozman is not all that well known- a 43% plurality of the state's voters have no opinion about him one way or the other. Among those who do 32% view him favorably to 25% unfavorably.

Because of Lincoln's precarious position we tested some other potential Democratic candidates against Boozman as well, and while most of them do better the numbers are still an indication that it will be hard for anyone to keep the seat in the party's hands. Lieutenant Governor Bill Halter basically polls the same as Lincoln, trailing 53-30. General Wesley Clark trails 51-36. Congressman Mike Ross is at a 48-37 disadvantage. And perhaps most surprising, highly popular and even more highly unlikely to run for the Senate Mike Beebe trails 44-43 in a hypothetical contest despite a 59/22 approval rating that rates among the best for any politician we've polled across the country this year.

That's an indication Arkansas just doesn't want to send another Democrat to Washington this year, at least at this point nine months before the election. Obama's at a 38/58 negative approval rating in the state, its voters are opposed to his health care plan by a 30/61 margin, and only 27% approve of the job Congressional Democrats are doing to 63% who disapprove. The Congressional GOP is not a whole lot more popular at a 29/55 approval spread, but continuing a trend we're finding everywhere we poll more than a quarter of voters in the state disapprove of both parties and they're going for Boozman over Lincoln by a 67-18 margin. If you hate everyone, you tend to 'throw the bums out' at least in hopes that things will change.

It's going to be a tough year for Democrats in Arkansas. Marion Berry and Vic Snyder already saw the writing on the wall and got out of there. Many would like to see Lincoln do the same, but it's clear that Lincoln or no Lincoln this is going to be a very tough hold for Democrats.

And finally a word on sampling since I know these poll results will be a little shocking. Those polled reported voting for John McCain by a 17 point margin- he actually won the state by 20 points so that's even a little charitable for Democrats. And the party breakdown of 36% Democrats, 32% Republicans, and 32% independents matches the 2008 electorate perfectly (even though we don't weight for party.) So as surprising as these results may be we're pretty confident they're an accurate representation of current public opinion in the state.

Full results here


Matt in WPB said...

So much for the whole "Draft Halter" movement stirred up by the Netroots huh?

Timothy said...

The mask has fallen off the "moderate" democrats. Nice knowin' ya, Blanche. I think West Virginia will be the next state to fully convert to red. :-)

Christian Liberty said...

So, Blue Dog Mike Ross (who has no statewide base and has never won a statewide election) has more chance of holding the senate seat than progressive LtGov Halter (who has a statewide base and has run a statewide election). Ross voted against the government-run plan and voted against the overall bill. And the general election matchup shows that these positions are much more in tune with Arkansas voters.

d.eris said...

How are the third party and independent candidates polling in this race?

Anonymous said...

FINALLY! The people have recognized that Blanche is simply a slave to Democratic leadership. She only votes against the party on bills they know they can pass without her.

livfreeordi said...

Doesn't look too good for Democrats ANYWHERE in the US this year.

Even in my overwhelmingly Democratic state of New York, Chuck Schumer is polling at or just below 50% approval.

If Larry Kudlow decides to run against him, Schumer is in real trouble.

Because of all the liberal wish list legislation being forced thru this year, particularly the healthcare reform legislation, independents, who generally lean conservative even in New york , are mad as hell at the Democratic Party this year and they want to take some scalps.

If this continues and grows, the GOP may very well take back control of Congress...even the Senate.

Anonymous said...

"Lincoln's approval rating has sunk to just 27%, with 62% of voters in the state disapproving of her."

Can I ask a dumb question? If the voters are so disenchanted with her, why can't they recall her and replace her with someone more responsive and effective? Is it really that hard to recall an incumbent? Or are congressmen and senators immune from recall? (If the latter, maybe the Tea Parties can work to fix that)

Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

Why do you proclaim Boozman the "frontrunner" when you don't poll her against any of the other Republican candidates in the race?

Jim Holt for example, should poll just as well against her as Boozman.

Anonymous said...

If nothing else, you would know Blanche was in trouble by watching today's visit by Obama to the Democratic caucus. Harry Reid, himself in deep trouble, had Democrats facing defeat in November asking the questions to give them camera time. Blanche asked a question, Barbara Boxer, the appointee who replaced Hillary, Snarlin' Arlen Spector . . . it was like looking at a lineup of the doomed.

Michael in Fort Lauderdale said...

I am always amazed at the connection between states that have the worst health care in the country and their strong support of no health care reform.

It bamboozles me upside the head.

Anonymous said...

It will be nice to see, after the November election, both Blanche Lincoln and Bill Halter out of a job!!!

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