Supporters of a temporary half-cent sales tax for a four-lane statewide highway network have managed to turn opposition in a different direction.

A new Talk Business-Hendrix College Poll of 868 likely Arkansas voters finds that support for the November 6 proposal is a statistical dead heat with 44.5% in favor of the tax hike and 44% opposed. About 11.5% are undecided.

Q.  In November, Arkansas voters will consider a proposal that would temporarily increase the sales tax by a half-cent in the state. The revenue generated from the 10-year temporary tax would be used to pay for a four-lane highway system statewide. If the election were today, would you vote for a half-cent tax increase for this purpose?

44.5%    Yes
44%       No
11.5%     Don’t Know

Those numbers are different from a late July Talk Business-Hendrix College Poll that showed 42% support for the measure and 49.5% against it.

“Supporters of the temporary sales tax increase for highways have been hard at work to persuade voters to cast ballots for this measure,” said Talk Business executive editor Roby Brock. “Through high-profile, bi-partisan endorsements and a significant grassroots and grasstops effort, there has clearly been some progress made in reshaping public opinion.”

Brock added, “With a healthy paid media effort and lack of a singular organized opposition effort, the final tally on this issue remains winnable for proponents. They’ll have to overcome a prevailing conservative, anti-tax climate, but it is certainly achievable.”

POLL METHODOLOGY
This survey was conducted by Talk Business Research and Hendrix College on Thursday, October 18, 2012. The poll, which has a margin of error of +/-3.3%, was completed using IVR survey technology among 868 likely Arkansas voters statewide.

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 Talk Business executive editor Roby Brock by email at roby@talkbusiness.net.

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