No matter what positive spin Democrats in Arkansas may try to put on it, President Obama’s overwhelming negative approval ratings are a tough hill for Democratic candidates to overcome.
In our latest Talk Business poll, more than twice as many people disapprove of Obama’s job performance than approve for a negative rating of -32 (31.5/63.5.) Only 5 percent of those polled have no opinion.
These high negatives are seen statewide with over 60 percent disapproving in all four Congressional Districts (AR1 29/64.5 – AR2 35/61.5 – AR3 30/66 – AR4 31.5/61.)
Perhaps the toughest news for Democrats is the fact that Obama has lost independent voters. Among this group, Obama has a negative rating of -51.5 (22/73.5.) It is almost impossible to win elections without this important group of swing voters. Democratic candidates’ only choice will be to hope independents will split tickets when it gets down to the local level.
If there is a bright spot for the President, it is that he has not completely lost his base within his own party in Arkansas with a favorability rating among Arkansas Democrats of +46.5 (68.5/22). In states such as West Virginia, his favorable number has dipped under 50 percent within his own party.
With numbers like this, it is no suprise that the two leading Republican primary candidates are well ahead of Obama. Texas Gov. Rick Perry does slightly better than Mitt Romney leading Obama by almost 20 points. Obama attracts around 34 percent against either candidate, but Perry draws 53 percent compared to Romney’s 49.5 percent.
It is the safest of all assumptions to say that Arkansas will vote for the eventual Republican candidate over President Obama in 2012. But the largest question remains: How will this affect local Democratic candidates?
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