Three closely watched political journalists based in Little Rock have joined to form The Arkansas Election Line — an ongoing assessment of key political races in Arkansas.
Roby Brock (TalkBusiness.net), Blake Rutherford (blakesthinktank.com) and Jason Tolbert (tolbertreport.com) have first analyzed the U.S. Senate race. Their assessment is similar to those typically issued by media outlets that focus on Washington D.C. politics. The Arkansas Election Line will frequently analyze a race and issue a statement based on where they think the race “leans.”
• Democratic contenders for the U.S. Senate seat
U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln
Lt. Gov. Bill Halter
• Republican contenders for the U.S. Senate seat
State Sen. Gilbert Baker
U.S. Rep. John Boozman
State Sen. Kim Hendren
Following is the current consensus, according to The Arkansas Election Line:
• Our consensus rating is that the U.S. Senate race in Arkansas “Leans Republican” today;
• In the Republican Senate primary, our view is that the nomination “Leans John Boozman.”; and,
• On the Democratic side, we rate the primary race as “Leans Blanche Lincoln.”
“I have been tracking this race through our Talk Business Quarterly Poll for more than nine months. The political atmosphere in Arkansas has been volatile for incumbents and Sen. Blanche Lincoln has been particularly vulnerable in large part due to her pivotal role in the grinding health care debate,” Brock noted in his analysis. “Lincoln’s job approval has consistently trended below 50% for months. As I’ve noted in our most recent poll, independent voters are breaking closely to where baseline Republican voter attitudes stand. This is a big part of the recipe for a GOP takeaway in November if conditions hold.”
The Arkansas Election Line now favors Boozman because he “brings the most name ID to the race, a proven fundraising record, and has a near-decade of ballot appearances on his resume in the 3rd District, where nearly 50% of the GOP primary turnout will unfold.”
Link here for the full report of the first in what will be many reports from The Arkansas Election Line.