Poll: Bozeman, Sanders, Griffin lead by double digits over opponents

Poll: Bozeman, Sanders, Griffin lead by double digits over opponents

Arkansas Republicans who lead the list of candidates for the US Senate, governor, and attorney general all have double-digit leads in their races against Democratic opponents.

Talk Business & Politics’ latest poll of 835 potential Arkansas voters points to the victories of Senator John Bozeman, former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Lt. Tim Griffin over their Democratic rivals in the midst of a turbulent political environment.

The three races were tested in the latest TB & P-Hendrix survey:

Q: If the US Senate elections were held today, which of the following candidates would do?
you vote for?

43.5% Senator John Bozeman (right)
30.5% Natalie James (D)
5% Kenneth Keats (L)
21% are hesitant

Q: If the race for the governor was taking place today, which of the following candidates would be?
Do you vote for?

51% Sarah Huckabee Sanders (right)
40% Chris Jones (D)
2% Ricky Dale Harrington Jr. (left)
7% are hesitant

Q: If the race for the attorney general is taking place today, which of the following?
Candidates will you vote for?

49% Governor Tim Griffin (right)
32% Jesse Gibson (D)
19% are hesitant

“In no way would I expect these races to end with the numbers that this base poll shows. As political spending rises and undecided ones make their choices, I expect to see the numbers of each candidate rise,” said Robbie Brook, editor-in-chief of Talk Business & Politics. Well funded, I’m expecting a big up.” “The trend lines in this survey indicate that Independents are not as Republican inclined as they have in the past, but I would have to see this phenomenon occur during more than one election cycle to call it a pendulum swing.”

On Monday, Talk Business & Politics will release survey results on Issues 1, 2, and 3. Survey results related to abortion and recreational marijuana have already been released.

Talk Business & Politics seeks bipartisan input in the construction and analysis of opinion polls.

Dr. Jay Barth, Professor Emeritus of Politics at Hendrix College, is active in Democratic Party politics and helped draft and analyze the latest poll. Presented this analysis of the survey results:

“This poll offers an opportunity to see the temperature of Arkansas voters in the three big contests they will decide in November: the races for the US Senate, governor and attorney general. Republicans clearly have a sharp advantage and are likely to celebrate victories on November 8th. However, US Senator John Bozeman and Republican gubernatorial candidate Sarah Huckabee Sanders have fallen short of expectations in their races.On the other hand, incumbent Governor Tim Griffin has developed a powerful alliance in his race to become the state’s attorney general.

In his race, Boozman performs equally across state geographic quarters along with fairly equal performance with and without college voters (a rare for a Trump-era Republican). The same sharp age disparity appears in the race as his opponent, Natalie, has advanced. James by a large margin with the youngest voters while Bozeman trails with the largest and most participating voters, 65 and over.The same gender gap also appears in the race with more women hesitating about their choice in the US Senate race.About three-quarters of Democrats and Republicans, respectively , they support their party’s candidate, but Bozeman gets a majority of the independent vote.Unfunded James, who would be the first black person to represent Arkansas in Washington in the state’s history, did not muster the support of black voters because she received less than a majority of that group of voters.

As the large, undecided vote manifests itself in the Senate race, nearly all voters have chosen their candidate in the top-level race for Arkansas governor. While her performance will likely fall short of expectations based on her name recognition and financial advantage, Sarah Huckabee Sanders still holds the double-digit lead in the race. She’s also just beginning to spend millions of dollars in her campaign coffers on a fall campaign television campaign. However, as Sanders shows her base in Trump’s coalition of white, male and rural voters over 45 who lack a college degree, Democrat Chris Jones has assembled a coalition of college educated and younger urban/suburban voters, including older voters. Large groups of colored voters to stay somewhat in the game. In addition to rallying Democratic voters, he also won a majority (44%) of independent voters in the race. On the other hand, Sanders—who would be the state’s first female governor—outperformed the Republican with female voters despite a gender gap with a majority of male voters but only a slight plurality of women.

“The Republican attorney general’s candidate, Tim Griffin, is doing the best job of the three major Republican candidates in connecting the Trump coalition to the more historic Republican establishment. For example, Griffin does well with voters with or without a college degree, and he performs stronger than Republicans across age groups, running slightly behind opponent Jesse Gibson with the smallest subset of voters. Griffin also did a solid vote with independent voters. Griffin seems well positioned to lead the ticket — at least in the three races we tested.”

Robert Kohn, managing partner at Impact Management Group, which works with Republican political candidates, also helped draft and analyze the latest poll. Presented this analysis of the survey results:

Senator John Boseman leads the race in his re-election campaign with 44% of the vote, beating his closest Democratic challenger, Natalie James, by 14 percentage points. 21% of voters say they are currently hesitant about the race, but among those identified, Boozman leads James by 55%-38%, which is likely more of an indication of how this race will end in November. Bozeman’s fundamentals across demographic groups are solid, denying James a foothold to bridge the gap. It advances with all age groups except for voters under 30, who traditionally lean toward Democrats. His voting preference among Republicans (78%) shows that support from the base has grown after the primaries, and he is currently ahead of James by 6 percentage points with independents – a critical group as some Republicans nationwide struggle to rule post-Dobbs. Bozeman leads James by 45% to 26% with voters without a college degree and two percentage points among those with a college degree. Boozman is overwhelmingly preferred by men (51% to 30%), and he has a 6 percentage point lead over women. Regardless of undecided voters, the headwinds some Republicans are seeing with independents and women do not appear to be blowing against Bozeman in this race as he is on his way to securing another term in the Senate in November.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders edges Democratic opponent Chris Jones by 11 percentage points with only 7% of voters undecided in this race. Possibly, Jones took advantage of the lack of a real initial challenge, which gave him the luxury of sending messages to general election voters from the start of his campaign. Sanders leads all age groups except for voters under 30, taking the majority of voters 45-64 (51%) and 65+ (58%). As with Donald Trump, Sanders sees strength with voters without a college degree (57%), while Jones leads among those with a degree (51%). Both men (54%) and women (47%) favor Sanders, although her margin with women is narrower (+3%). Sanders leads in all four congressional districts, achieving large margins in CD1 (+22%) and CD4 (+18%). As expected, based on Sanders’ close association with Donald Trump, she has done incredibly well with voters who view the former president as strongly supportive (95%) and somewhat favorable (87%). However, it is worth noting that it still reached 31% with voters who found Trump somewhat unfavorable, indicative of a wider world of support than the former president. Overall, after the primary season and Dobbs’ recent Supreme Court ruling, this current political environment may be a milestone for Democrats and a low-key mark for Republicans in this cycle, with Sanders’ numbers potentially rising to a more comfortable victory. A fringe as millions of dollars hit the airwaves during the final weeks of the campaign.

“Lt. Governor Tim Griffin beats rival Jesse Gibson by 17 percentage points in the race for the attorney general’s position, the largest margin of the races tested. Griffin advances in all age groups except for those under 30 where he lags by only one percentage point. Republican voters stand firmly behind Griffin (85%) and he leads with independents by 13 percentage points — a healthy margin in an uncertain political environment for Republicans. Griffin’s support is centered on men (57% to 29%), however it also advances with women (+8%). Griffin leads votes in all four congressional regions, with his highest support in CD4 and CD2.”

The poll of 835 potential Arkansas voters was conducted on September 12, 2022, with a margin of error of +/- 3.8%.

Responses were collected via SMS over the phone. The survey is weighted slightly to account for key demographics including age, race, education, and gender. Additional methodology is available upon request.

All media are welcome to reprint, reproduce or rebroadcast information from this survey with appropriate attribution to Talk Business & Politics and Hendrix College. A link to this specific story is also required for any digital or online use by other media.

For interviews, contact Talk Business & Politics Roby Brock via email at [email protected]

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