A new Talk Business-Hendrix College Poll shows that Fourth District Democratic voters are still largely undecided on their nominee for for the open seat to replace retiring Democratic Cong. Mike Ross.

In the latest survey, conducted among 418 likely Democratic voters on Thursday, May 10, 2012, 44% have not decided for whom they will vote.

Of the 3 Democratic candidates, Q. Byrum Hurst and State Sen. Gene Jeffress (D-Louann) are neck-in-neck in the low ’20′s, while the third candidate, former U.S. Senate candidate D.C. Morrison, could be a spoiler.

23%    Q. Byrum Hurst
22%    Gene Jeffress
11%     D.C. Morrison
44%    Don’t know

“Hurst has been spending some funds on paid media, while Jeffress did begin the race with some name ID in south central and southeast Arkansas because of his and his brother’s near decade of holding elective office,” said Roby Brock, executive editor of Talk Business. “I have to say there is little that might happen between now and Election Day to sway a solid majority of the undecided vote to one particular candidate. This race looks headed to a run-off.”

The poll asked voters if they had already participated in the Democratic primary and, if they did, respondents were asked to name the candidate for whom they voted. Additional poll participants included frequent Democratic primary voters who said they intended to vote in this year’s primary.

Dr. Jay Barth, with the Hendrix College Department of Politics and International Relations, helped craft and analyze the poll. He agreed that a run-off is likely.

“On the Democratic side, we see a picture much like we saw in the First Congressional District,” said Barth. “Here there are huge numbers of voters undecided on how they will vote. Among voters who both have early voted and who plan to vote on or before May 22, two candidates — Q. Byrum Hurst and Gene Jeffress — are essentially tied. There now seems a strong change that the third candidate, 2010 US Senate candidate DC Morrisson, will force a June 12th runoff in the race.”

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette political columnist John Brummett opines on our latest poll numbers in his Sunday column. Brummett will be our guest on Talk Business tonight for analysis. Tune in to Fox 16 at 10 p.m.

POLL METHODOLOGY
This poll was conducted by Talk Business Research and Hendrix College on Thursday, May 10, 2012. The poll, which has a margin of error of +/-4.8%, was completed using IVR survey technology among 418 likely Democratic voters in Arkansas’ Fourth Congressional District.

Participants were selected from a database of district voters who have voted in some or all of the last 5 Democratic primary elections and who affirmatively answered a question that they have early/absentee voted or intended to vote in the Democratic primary on May 22, 2012.

All media outlets are welcome to reprint, reproduce, or rebroadcast information from this poll with proper attribution to Talk Business and Hendrix College.

For interviews, contact Brock by email at roby@talkbusiness.net or Barth by email at barth@hendrix.edu.